Empower: giving plastic a value

Company

Empower

Company type

Start-up

Sector

Waste management

Business model

Create value from waste

CHALLENGE

Bangladesh currently faces the worst case scenario of sea pollution due to plastic as it ranked among top 10 plastic polluted countries due to poor waste management. The plastic recycling industry in Bangladesh comprises only 200 companies who claim to be recovering about 70% of the plastic waste that is being generated in the country. Unfortunately the remaining 30% still amounts to about 17,000 tonnes annually. A bulk of this waste gets trapped in the sewers of the major cities, especially of densely populated capital Dhaka and the second largest city Chittagong, causing the sewerage systems to break down repeatedly.

 

SOLUTION

Based on the idea of using new technology to enable a circular economy, Empower was founded in January 2018 with a vision to empower people to create a cleaner and better world. Empower is building a global plastic waste ecosystem based on the same philosophy as the Norwegian bottle deposit system. By giving plastic waste a value it is possible to stop leakage of plastic into the environment and cost-efficiently incentivize collection of leaked waste.

 

DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS MODEL

Value proposition: Empower is incentivising the collection of plastic waste, kick-starting waste management systems and building transparency in the supply chains of recyclers and plastic producers. The use of Blockchain technology ensures both transparency and traceability throughout the value chain

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

 

Value creation and delivery:By tracking plastic waste and making digital inventories the company ensures that the most of it is reused and recycled. This is done by setting up collection points around the world, together with partners who then issue financial rewards in return for the deposit of plastic. The company also provides digital tools to increase transparency, market access and low-cost operations. All the plastic is registered digitally when deposited, allowing it to be traced through the value chain. This creates transparency and traceability and allow to map waste flows and to ensure that the plastic ends up where it has the highest value and the lowest cost to society.

Value capture: Empower partners with companies that want to take action and do something that has a real, measurable and traceable impact on the environment. The company offers its sustainable solutions and customized services to improve the environmental footprint of companies, which in turn subscribe to the services. A fee is paid based on the number of employees and the length of the subscription.

 

MORE INFO

Empower website

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