Can blockchain turn plastic waste into currency for the poor—and save our oceans?
By Trang Chu Min
David Katz was first awakened to the horrors of ocean plastic while on holiday in Manila, where the sight of high volumes of plastic waste was striking in the otherwise clear water of Manila Bay.
Travels around the world opened his eyes to the extent and gravity of the problem: beaches with more plastic than sand, seabirds and marine animals injured and dying because of plastic trash, and the adverse health and socio-economic impact on local communities.
Roughly 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year—that’s a garbage truck of plastic entering into our waters every minute. Five countries in Asia alone—Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and China —account for more plastic leakage into our oceans than the rest of the world combined.
Photo courtesy of Simone D. McCourtie.