Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Date of Publication: June 13, 2019
Year of Publication: 2019
Author(s): Justin Calderon
Poorer communities in the developing world bear the brunt of plastic pollution. Could a new digital payment system spark a clean-up revolution?
It was once a shoreline buried by enough trash to render it invisible, warranting the unfortunate nickname “toilet bowl”. Now the Philippines’ Manila Bay beach is unrecognisably clean compared with a few months ago, a transformation so sudden and extreme that it brought tears to the eyes of residents.
The clean up started on 27 January, when 5,000 volunteers descended on Manila Bay to remove over 45 tonnes of garbage, marking the beginning of a nation-wide environmental rehabilitation campaign. But some two months before this massive movement began, a quiet revolution was already underway.
During the first week of December 2018, Brooklyn-based Bounties Network collected three tonnes of trash from Manila Bay over two days through a pilot project that paid a small network of people, mostly fishermen, for each cache of trash with a digital currency based on the Ethereum system.
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