Empowering a green sharing economy
Carbon World is a green technology company based in Hong Kong with factories in China, and is committed to solve the waste management problem confronting Hong Kong and the world through its innovative Carbon Coins platform.
Carbon Coins is an incentive-based platform that turns recycled PET bottles, aluminium cans, glass bottles and paper into rewards and benefits so as to encourage people to participate into the recycling programs on a sustainable basis. Through our proprietary CO2 conversion algorithm which is administered by SGS, each type of the recycled items can be converted into CO2 reduction based on a predefined formula. These CO2 reductions are in turn converted into carbon coins which can be redeemed or traded like a digital currency for merchandise or goods within our network of affiliated merchants.
Being a key part of the green sharing eco-system, Carbon Coins is the e-wallet that drives the transactions at the RVM and Redemption Machine. Complemented by the Tracking Platform, the green sharing flows can be tracked to validate the legitimacy and context of the environmentally responsible behaviours. Not only the producer responsibility can be fulfilled or the landfill charging can be measured, some recyclables such as plastic can be turned into useful goods that bring us money through a traceable logistics supply chain system.
Hong Kong is facing a severe waste management problem because of the depleting landfill capacity – the three strategic landfills built in the 1990s are expected to be full within six to 10 years, due to the growing municipal waste loads, increasing per-person contributions and low recycle rate of domestic waste in Hong Kong. Government figures indicate that only 37 per cent of Hong Kong’s domestic waste is recycled in 2014. This recycle rate is considered to be low when compared to Japan’s (65% paper, 46% PET bottle, 83% Aluminum can, 83% glass bottle recycled in 2002) and those of other developed western countries.
Taking the plastic bottles as one example, though domestic recovery of plastic bottles in Hong Kong has increased significantly since the introduction of the waste separation bins in housing estates and public places, there is still limited reprocessing of post-consumer PET bottles due to practical constraints and barriers including relatively high costs of land and labour, lack of financial incentives to reduce waste, space limitation, decrease in demand and supply of recyclable wastes, etc.
In addition, (1) the contaminated nature of plastic waste, in particular when co-mingled with domestic waste, increases the cost of cleaning and decreases the market value of the recovered plastic waste; (2) The low density and bulky nature of plastic waste further increases the cost of collection and requires more space for storage when compared with other recyclable materials; and finally, (3) the mixing of different resin types of plastic makes reprocessing even more difficult.
As we can see, there are still enormous challenges to handle the waste management whether we can reduce the source of waste generation or enhance the pace of waste processing. It requires an innovative approach to solve the above issues.
Carbon Coins is an innovative approach that makes use of the reverse vending machine (RVM) to serve as the first mile to automate beverage container recycling by accepting containers directly from the consumer, accounting for each container processed, and refunding the deposit or sending other means reward to the consumer. These customer friendly RVM offer cash-equivalent points for used beverage containers (“UBC”) such as plastic bottles, and are available for use 24 hours a day.
Users simply dump in their PET bottles, push the button, and the machine will do the rest. For example, it sorts foreign objects from the PET bottles, using lasers to count the bottle, and dispenses a voucher with the redeemable values for exchange of cash coupons or other attractive gifts. The machine can crush or compress the bottles and then stores them in storage bins that can holds as much as 1000 units of recyclables. Internal machinery includes single phase motor, PLC, and sensors to process the recyclables. A can or bottle, after feeding into the hole in the front of the machine and with the help of two rolling wheels the machine grabs its barcode, crushes it and stores it in a plastic bin below.
Certain level of CO2 reduction from recycling a qualified empty bottle can be converted with a formula which is verified by SGS, a worldwide recognised accredited firm. The barcode of every beverage PET bottles are collected and weighted and this database with the accredited formula is activated when recycling is taking place. CO2 reduction of every single qualified bottle will be counted according to the formula. The record will be stored in the platform and recycle individual for further redemption economic activities.
The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) has announced that all listed companies will be required to comply with the Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide (ESG Guide) with effect from 1st January 2016, otherwise the companies will need to publicly justify why they do not. Therefore, to sponsor RVM in various locations is not only a practical measure to protect our environment but also to get the aggregate CO2 collected by the machines it sponsored. SGS will issue a statement or certificate to certify the reduction amount and hence the content in ESG reporting.
Carbon Coins platform offers multiple benefits to different stakeholders:
Government: The government tries every means to alleviate MSW problem and reduce carbon emission for enabling a better living environment for the smart city. With separation at source as an objective, the general public is encouraged to take part in this citywide incentive-based recycling program with a goal to educate them about the waste composition and processing issues.
Consumers: The recycling consumer has a convenient and trustworthy method to recycle their used beverage containers and other recyclables. They get a comfortable feeling knowing that they are participating in an environmentally friendly program as well as the incentive for returning their used beverage containers.
Retailers: Managing the logistics for returned containers for beverages is no easy task. First, it is about the sanitation problems associated with storing empty containers in open storage bins. Second, empty containers have to be manually accepted and sorted by store personnel. Third, the issuance of rewards or coupons have to rely on manned labor which is not reliable and convenient.
Bottlers: Collecting the empty containers from the retailers can be accomplished more effectively through in-house and independent subcontractors (often a beverage distributor type operation). The deposit accounting system provides each bottler with an accounting of how many of their containers were redeemed, and is also reimbursed for the scrap value of those containers.
Sponsors: Through the SGS accreditation program, corporate sponsors can obtain sponsorship statement or certificate so as to endorse their support to protect the environment. This can be a CSR benchmark being an eco-friendly organization for the annual ESG report required for public listed companies. For brand owners who can join the network of affiliated merchants, they can either sponsor reward items for consumer redemption or even co-brand with us to exchange their loyalty points with our green coins.
Certification Bodies: The proprietary CO2 conversion algorithm is administered by SGS which is subject to modification on an annual basis. Based on the current scheme, every qualified returned beverage bottle with corresponding CO2 weight (ton) will be counted according to the barcode attached to it. The barcode data collected from supermarkets or GS1 so as to make sure all prevailing beverage bottles will be included in the machines.
It is real recycle & people will “LIKE”.
Be a pioneer in Environmental Protection initiatives.
A real recycle with “Validation” that enrich the ESG report &
“Win a Trust” from consumer.
“Analysis” of consumption
= Increase footfalls
= Increase business
Flat B, 11/F, Trust Tower, 68 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Unit 711, 7/F, Enterprise Place, Hong Kong Science Park, Shatin, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 34254745
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