Eric Vogel presented his startup, Circularr, at the European Blockchain Convention, using the motto “Recycle-to-earn.“
His childhood passion for video games and interest in recycling inspired him to create a London-based company that aims to connect recyclers, manufacturers, and brands in a decentralized recycling ecosystem.
Proper recycling is becoming a more significant challenge, as recycling is not expanding quickly enough to keep up with plastic waste. Circularr allows consumers to deposit plastic waste at collection points, which are then collected and sent to a recycling plant. This process is now powered by blockchain technology.
The plastic waste is rewarded with a deflationary utility token that can be used to swap for exclusive incentives and offers through a native wallet or mint nonfungible tokens that provide end-to-end traceability of the recycling process.
Vogel envisions that brands and organizations could upcycle specific plastics from key events or venues to produce limited edition merchandise, as blockchain technology can create a digital trail that records every step of the recycling process.
Other areas of ESG initiatives have also adopted similar approaches. To enhance the effectiveness and precision of the carbon market, a crucial aspect of combating climate change, blockchain technology and automated systems are being increasingly utilized. Vogel mentioned that blockchain technology could tackle some of the difficulties related to recycling, such as the lack of trust among stakeholders and the challenge of verifying the source and quality of recycled materials.
Circularr intends to install its facilities and collection points at various locations in the United Kingdom, including train stations and freeway service stations, as well as subway stations and airports in the United States. The startup also plans to collaborate with sports stadiums and events in Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The startup’s upcoming initiatives include partnering with on- and off-ramps to allow users to exchange tokens for other cryptocurrencies and fiat currency. Additionally, a track-and-tracing system is slated for implementation in the second half of 2023. Gamification of the recycling process is also one of the company’s objectives, targeting brands that reward users with tokens and prizes for their recycled waste. Vogel remarked, “It all began with a Game Boy and a desire to make a difference,” and now the company is striving towards a more sustainable and circular economy.