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  • Yazarın fotoğrafıLeyla Arsan

Last exit: revolutionize the way plastic is used

I am not collecting seashells or smooth white stones at the seashore anymore, but a plastic waste.

Our behavior is changing in daily lives. The rapidly approaching danger in the planet and people’s lives needs more attention than ever before. The development in human being is destroying itself. New developments are needed to repair damages, unfortunately it is started to become very late. Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.[1] The reputation of plastics has suffered further thanks to a growing concern about the potential threat they pose to human health. Plastics contain additives (such as the much-discussed bisphenol A [BPA] and a class of chemicals called phthalates) making them more flexible, durable, and transparent which leach out into our food, water, and bodies. In very high doses these chemicals can disrupt the endocrine (or hormonal) system. Researchers worry particularly about the effects of these chemicals on children and what continued accumulation means for future generations.[2] Plastic became a special target because, while so many plastic products are disposable, plastic lasts forever in the environment.

The facts about plastic pollution in the earth are blowing the minds out.

About 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually[3]. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish (by weight)[4]. Many fish humans consume, including brown trout, cisco, and perch, have at one time or another, ingested plastic microfibers.[5] Of those, 236,000 tons are microplastics[6]– tiny pieces of broken-down plastic smaller than your little fingernail and many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food[7].

It was the plastics industry that offered recycling as a solution. In the 1980s the plastics industry led an influential drive encouraging municipalities to collect and process recyclable materials as part of their waste-management systems. However, recycling is far from perfect, and most plastics still end up in landfills or in the environment. Grocery-store plastic bags have become a target for activists looking to ban one-use, disposable plastics, and several countries already passed bag bans.[8]

Plastic should be so valuable that everyone will prefer to re-use it.

Plastic as a word originally meant “pliable and easily shaped and also gradually became a word used to describe that which was cheap, flimsy, or fake. Like in The Graduate, one of the top movies of 1968, Dustin Hoffman’s character as a symbol of cheap conformity and superficiality.[9] This “cheap and flexible” material is still very useful and strewed plastics in the environment can be converted into this useful forms and products by making the virgin plastic expensive and so valuable but re-using should be cheaper.

Modern life seems unimaginable without plastic, but there is a catch.

Some of the properties that make it so useful, like its low cost, light weight and durability, also make it hard to dispose of, and, being designed to last, plastic can take thousands of years to decompose. It’s no secret that plastic waste poses a huge threat to our environment. Plastic disposal is changing the environment we live and interact with and social innovation for plastic is in an immediate need. Our living styles and business focus is changing. Innovation is valuable as long as impacts globally on people and on environment. Nowadays, technological developments should be applied for preventing climate change, clean and efficient energy and for circular economy. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change[10], UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals[11] and European Plastic Strategy[12] are the most critical ones. Today EU agrees on single-use plastics Directive[13] in favor of banning some of the most widely used single-use plastics! We see that everyday a company is banning the single-use plastics.

The Plastics waste impact triggered the need for a new Plastics Economy movement

on societal wellbeing, economy, and environment (1). The recent “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics (2) and “The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action” (3) reports by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, now set the vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, but become an asset which can inspire and mobilize innovative solutions. This new plastics economy vision of immediate effective actions gains wide acceptance and momentum as proven by Gartner’s (4) report of top very high-profile vendors who are committed and recently announced zero waste to landfills goals (via the popular „4 R” approach: reducing, reusing, recovering, recycling).

Reducing, recycling and reusing are all important parts of the solution.

Setting up the goals are needed but they should be achieved urgently. It is sure that these goals can only be achieved by collaborating, creating awareness on people about the serious problems of the planet and by creating a social impact. The approaches could be on participatory innovation, new ways to produce collective intelligence in key sustainability areas, leveraging on open data, knowledge networks, open hardware and Internet of things by also innovative combinations of existing or emerging network technologies which enable new Digital Social Innovation which can better cope with emerging sustainability challenges, achieving mass adoption and measurable global impact.

The Collective Awareness Platforms are needed

demonstrating new forms of bottom-up innovation and social collaboration exploiting digital hyper-connectivity and collaborative tools based on open data, open knowledge, open source software and open hardware, harnessing crowdsourcing or crowd-funding models. Europe is strongly focusing on creating these collective awareness platforms by providing funding under its research and innovation program Horizon2020. PlasticTwist[14] is one of these open platforms by providing plastic lifecycle awareness, monetization, and sustainable innovation by bringing all stakeholders on plastic value chain and circular economy together on revaluing plastic. The marketplace offers new opportunities for the reusing plastic and new ways of doing business by revaluing it.

It supports multiple actors like citizens, communities, inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs in co-creating and sustaining new forms of plastics as an asset, strengthening both societal and circular economy actions in-line with digital social innovation.

This open platform is also an innovation where offers;

o crowdsourcing tools to enable generation of an evolving plastic materials reuse taxonomy and an open plastic reuse machinery designs repository;

o a monetary system of PCoins(Token) and PWallets maintained by a blockchain based architecture which will safeguard trusted plastics reuse transactions among citizens and inventors (such as fablabs);

o a citizens and communities rewarding and engagement experiences by interactive and collaborative gamification which embeds PTokens crediting;

o a virtual marketplace for exhibiting and commercializing of PlasticTwist inspired plastics reuse products monetized in the proposed PToken unit. Cutting edge gamification, analytics, and circular economy mechanisms will be integrated under an open platform to be validated and stress tested under a common use cases methodology. The blockchain infrastructure and the PToken to be developed “Tokenenomics” will be created, the new economics concept.

PlasticTwist creates Tokenomics by a marketplace monetised in PToken for plastics re-use.

PlasticTwist has exceptional ideas that can revolutionize the way plastic is used. It cares about the planet and opens doors for new ideas for all people and industries based upon existing open source, blockchain, gaming, crowdsourcing components, open data solutions and developments to the largest possible extent. Impacts citizens and grassrooted groups co-creation, innovative and trusted collaboration and knowledge transfer by increasing all stakeholders awareness; plastics as an asset potential due to increasing its circular economy re-entering; and blockchain based novel routes to markets.

The project is being realized in collaboration with the Hochschule Luzern in Switzerland, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki and MEDSOS in Greece, NUROGAMES in Germany, Ceci n’est pas une Holding and Bluecity in Netherlands, Almerys in France, EOLAS in Spain and TAGES in Turkey.

Last words…

This is for today, let’s see what will happen in the next 10 years or until 2050? Will we be able to get rid of plastic pollution and save our planet? Will the innovations be radical solutions or temporary ones? Shall we continue to create new problems for our planet? We will see. However, our efforts should continue and should more and more innovate by collaborating for creating a better world to live before it destroys all of us.

Leyla Arsan, CEO of TAGES

Istanbul, December 27, 2018

[3] Jambeck, J. R., et al. “Plastic Waste Inputs from Land into the Ocean.” Science, vol. 347, no. 6223, 13 Feb. 2015, pp. 768–771., doi:10.1126/science.1260352.

[6] Erik van Sebille et al 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 124006

[7] Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit, Earth Day Network, 2018

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