Indonesia boasts of some of the most diverse marine life. Many residents of the Southeast Asian nation depend on this plentiful marine life for food security. However, pollution, especially that created by plastic is putting it at risk. Now SC Johnson is partnering with Plastic Bank to ensure that the damage is contained. The company will open eight new recycling centers that will provide digital tokens to people who collect and deposit plastic waste.

How Ocean Waste Creates a Plethora of Problems

Ocean plastic is a nuisance for marine life as well as their nearby communities. According to some estimates, nearly one dump truck load is emptied into the world’s oceans every minute, mainly from Asian countries. Indonesia is one of the five countries that amount for over 55 percent of ocean plastic. Communities living in coastal regions are facing poverty. The situation demands a two-pronged approach.

As SC Johnson and Plastic Bank open eight new recycling centers in the country, they will help in saving the oceans from plastic waste. People who deposit plastic into these centers will be provided digital tokens that can be used to buy services and goods. The entire system is managed using secure blockchain technology. Indonesia has also pledged to reduce marine waste by up to 70 percent by 2025, spending $1 billion per year to reduce plastic and pollution in its waters.

SC Johnson chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson commented on the initiative saying:

“Our oceans need protecting. I applaud the Indonesian government’s pledge to provide $1 billion per year to reduce plastic pollution. Business, government, and NGOs need to come together to take on this important issue. It’s critical that we take action to help stop the increasing amount of plastic leaking into our oceans.”

The Irony of the Blockchain

The new initiative in Indonesia will use blockchain technology and digital tokens to manage poverty as well as pollution in Indonesian coastal communities. However, the first and most popular use of blockchains was for Bitcoin, a digital currency. When it comes to fulfilling environmental goals, Bitcoin doesn’t fare too well.

Mining Bitcoin is an energy-intensive process, and if we pay heed to new research published this week in Nature Climate Change, we will find that if Bitcoin becomes the true global cryptocurrency, it would seem to singlehandedly create enough carbon dioxide to heat the planet by another 2 degrees within 25 years. The lead author of the analysis and associate professor at the University of Hawaii Camilo Mora said:

“If this takes off it will be something that we will not be able to control.”

Though not all currencies are mineable, the size of Bitcoin’s share in the current crypto market is massive.

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