Helping Fight Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans

The presence of plastics in the world’s water systems is a critical environmental and health crisis. They cause pollution by entering natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes. Compounding on the threat of plastics is inefficiencies in current recycling practices. Our current model for recycling relies on consumers to recycle. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans generate more than 267 million tons of solid waste every year. In 2017, only 94.2 million tons (35%) of that waste was either recycled or composted and only 8% of discarded plastics were recycled that year.

Image: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Plastics Material Specific Data

Kamilo, a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to the reduction of global plastic waste, has partnered with Innovate to track the journey of plastic from waste to a recycled product. Kamilo buys plastics from municipalities (e.g., 2000lbs of plastic) and ensures that the plastic is actually recycled/reused. Leveraging the power of geographic information system (GIS), Kamilo creates a verifiable link between plastic recovered and its actual re-use through global supply chain tracking. This model provides businesses that sell recyclable plastic (e.g., bottles) a way to guarantee that their plastic output is matched in recycled material via real-time geospatial verification of source and successful recovery. This innovative technology brings much-needed transparency and accountability to the global plastics supply chain and recycled plastics markets.

Innovate is helping Kamilo’s data management by using blockchain to store data and provide verification of accuracy. Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. Using blockchain ensures indisputable evidence that the plastic asset existed and tracked to its final resting place. This is a unique solution because it merges GIS data with blockchain’s data model.

Kamilo’s innovative approach offers businesses a way to take ownership of their plastic footprint in the environment and deter plastics from entering the world’s water systems. As a green-focused company, Innovate is proud to be a partner in this effort.