On February 1st,media reported that Piriapolis in southern Uruguay had used virtual currency to encourage people to recycle plastic waste. It is reported that this is an environmental pilot project called “Plasticoin”, which aims to encourage plastic recycling in South American countries. Participants are required to register online and then store their plastic waste at three collection points.
When participants collected one kilogram of plastic waste, they were rewarded with 100-400 virtual coins (100 for household waste; 200 for beach litter; 400 for microplastics). These virtual currencies will be sent electronically to your phone and can be used to get coupons and discounts at participating restaurants and stores.
Images from https://phys.org
According to the United Nations, 13 million tons of plastic waste are dumped in the ocean each year. But in this country of 3.4 million people, there are many obstacles to recovery in addition to a lack of broad awareness and opportunities.
According to Federico Baraibar, head of The recycling specialist Cempre, 35 per cent of the plastic collected is recycled, but only 12 per cent of the plastic collected ends up at the recycling plant.
The developers of the Plasticoin project said they had hoped to attract 100 users in the first four months, but had nearly 1,000 in less than three weeks. This not only increases the public’s awareness of environmental protection, but also effectively increases the recycling of plastics.