TU.3.E || Circular Economy and Circular Society in LCM

Souza, Amanda; Viñas, Rafael

Brazil is the fourth largest producer of waste in the world. On average, only 20% of all cities offer separated collection of recyclable waste. More than 500.000 collectors of rubbish try to make a living by separating recyclable materials on the streets, where they work in circumstances that endanger their well-being for very low income. Brazilian legislation, similar to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), states that brand owners are obliged to prove the recycling of at least 22% of the package materials that end up as waste. Despite being a legal requirement, many companies don’t meet the target yet and many others does so by using invoices from sorting units, in a process that is very manual and prone to fraud. Together with a consortium set up by BASF, Fundação Espaço Eco® is developing reciChain. The heart of the project is the pilot implementation of a fraud-proof blockchain-based Waste Recycling Credits (“ReciChain”) platform. The platform will provide incentives to manufacturers, importers of consumer goods and suppliers to support the investment in recycling infrastructure, expand their recycling efforts and thus promote a circular economy. Sorting units and other actors involved in recycling will get access to modern recycling technologies and receive capacity building in recycling technology. Improved recycling techniques will increase the quantity and quality of the recyclable material required to achieve the commercial viability of recycling operations. Furthermore, raising the recycling rate also requires an improved collaboration among the stakeholders in the recycling sector. Therefore, a combination of actions in a multi-stakeholder-approach is envisaged to expand the quality and scale of their recycling operations in the country.