Working paper on plastic waste recovery by regional blockchain networks

The working paper regards a market analysis for plastic waste recovery by regional blockchain networks which also marks the title of the underlying project. The analysis has a focus on Germany but also identifies and investigates the markets globally to search for related ideas to learn from or for existing competitors.

Basic Idea

The basic idea behind this is grounded on the observation that many small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) create and command secondary plastics materials (e.g. by-products, left overs or small unused amounts of primary material) in amounts that are too small to be sold to secondary markets with a sensible margin. However, a cooperation on selling secondary plastics material could create the relevant scales needed or exchanging of such materials for further use could be enabled.

To create such a cooperation it is however important to safely and reliable store data on the quantity, quality, whereabouts, etc. of the material. Such knowledge is crucial to create trustworthy markets for high quality secondary materials – only secondary plastics of complete purity in material and colour can be reused in high value applications. Blockchain may provide the technology that enables and provides a trustworthy tracing and tracking to allow for safe distribution and commissioning of secondary plastics materials.

What you can expect

The analysis is divided into three parts. Part 1 (chapters 2 and 3) defines and delineates blockchain technology and investigates into its aptness for the application envisioned here. Part 2 (chapters 4 to 6) analyse the German plastics industry, identifies potential regional hot spots and provides a glimpse into this industry’s future. Part 3 contains an analysis of 14 existing material oriented blockchain applications. This analysis targets to identify role models and competitors and seeks to derive implications for the endeavour planned here.


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