An innovative pilot blockchain project at BASF is demonstrating how sophisticated blockchain technology can serve to promote what the company describes as a ‘more competitive circular plastics supply chain’.
The project, called reciChain, was initially piloted by BASF in Brazil, but is now being launched in the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada, as a response to the problem of plastic waste in the environment. According to a report produced by Deloitte for Environment and Climate Change Canada, the country recycled less than 11% of the nearly 3.3 million tons of plastic waste generated in 2016.
"With reciChain, our goal is to revitalize the value of plastics and significantly improve circularity in the supply chain," said Marcelo Lu, President, BASF Canada.
Using blockchain technology, traceability, a major concern today, becomes far more straightforward. Manufacturers create a digital tag for the plastics, identifying the polymer structure, which is added to the digital badge, and loop count technology is used that enables the secured sharing of data among market participants while improving the sorting, tracing and monitoring of plastics throughout the value chain. This increased transparency also assures brand owners of the validity of the certificates they purchase from recyclers and converters.
"A successful implementation of reciChain will result in a collaborative digital consortium that will bring together plastic manufacturers, suppliers, government entities, retailers, waste collectors and recyclers aimed at keeping the life of plastic molecules circular," said Anthony DiPrinzio, head of BASF Blockchain Lab.
"Leveraging blockchain technology, we can work together to ensure our products deliver back to the value chain and contribute to a circular economy."
Deloitte is working with BASF on the project in British Columbia to validate the pilot's value in the local supply chain. The goal is to expand this to a nation-wide solution in order to position Canada as a leading country in the recycling and recovery of plastics.