IBM Japan joins consortium on safe plastic recycling

IBM Japan joins consortium on safe plastic recycling

An effort started in April saw IBM Japan and Mitsui Chemicals develop a framework for the use of blockchain in tracing plastic waste

Tokyo-based firms IBM Japan, Mitsui Chemicals and Nomura Research Institute (NRI) have formed a consortium that seeks to find out how best to use blockchain technology in providing safe recycling of plastic.

A press statement from Nomura notes that the consortium aims to create a sustainable resource circulation group, with insight shared meant to help further collaborative efforts towards plastic management. According to the announcement, one of the key objectives of the new partnership is to explore how traceability of plastic can aid in the recycling process.

To this end, the IBM Japan and Mitsui Chemicals teams started working on the use of blockchain technology to effectively trace plastic materials across the supply chain, including at recycling firms. The two companies have now joined with the Nomura Research Institute in a consortium whose target is to step up the effort towards proper recycling.


The group also targets encouraging other players to join the initiative, with an incentive programme to be introduced as a way of promoting broader contribution to recycling from the general public as well as established companies across the globe.

As part of its role in the consortium, IBM Japan will look to support the development of a blockchain platform to provide an immutable record of plastic traceability, while Mitsui Chemicals will leverage its extensive insight in the chemicals sector to inform proper recycling. 

Nomura will work towards addressing social challenges associated with the critical resource management industry, the announcement added.

The new IBM Japan/Nomura/Mitsui collaboration comes hot on the heels of another IBM move aimed at cutting harmful waste. The company is reportedly set to partner with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) on a blockchain-based project for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

These efforts are just the tip of the iceberg, given the world has a long way to go to combat climate change. Scientists are already warning that the consequences could be catastrophic.

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