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Empower ecosystem with blockchain-powered plastic waste collection

Empower is creating a global plastic recycling ecosystem driven by blockchain technology. The system is incentivising clean-up of plastic everywhere.Published 15 Dec 2022 (updated 7 Feb 2024) · 2 min read

Plastic pollution is one of the world’s fastest growing environmental challenges. Every minute 15 metric tons of plastic reaches the ocean from land-based sources.

Plastic for tokens

Empower has devised a system which allows people to exchange plastic waste for tokens. The tokens can in turn be exchanged for money or used to pay for plastic clean-up in other locations.

The system lets anyone deliver plastic waste at certified recycling stations. Blockchain technology ensures that tokens for plastic are securely awarded and used. The plastic waste is digitally registered at collection, allowing for a transparent and traceable waste management system where everyone can see where the collected plastic ends up.

Empower is working to pilot the waste tracking component with plastic waste collectors, waste management companies and buyers of recycled plastic in order to fully implement the system.

Concrete benefits

The immediate benefit of Empower is to reduce plastic waste and kick-start a basic recycling system. An added benefit is to help to create unskilled jobs for those in need of additional earnings. Once development is completed, the system will be a fully digital, transparent and cost-efficient waste management system.

Market potential

More than USD 10 billion of bulk value plastic waste ends up in nature every year. Feeding plastic waste into the circular economy and creating recycled products, meanwhile, could have a potential value of USD 50 billion.

Empower’s system has been piloted in 10 countries. The company has already established permanent recycling stations in and agreements with several countries as well.

At a glance

  • System for exchanging plastic waste for tokens
  • Tokens awarded using blockchain
  • Successfully piloted in 10 countries

Solution status




c/o Evolve, Storgata 7, 0155 OSLO, Norway


Wilhelm Myrer


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Responsible consumption and production

12. Responsible consumption and production

About the goal

Empower helps to increase recycling rates for plastic.

Life below water

14. Life below water

About the goal

Empower helps to reduce the density of floating plastic debris.

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