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Packaging Economy 4.0 - Where Does the Value Sit?

The Role of Urban Mining in the Packaging Economy 4.0"

Urban Mining - the system in which producers salvage the value (physical, marketing, and analytical) of products and electrical components by distributing some of that value back to the citizens/stakeholders sourcing it.

In today's fast-paced world, the pervasive "throw-away culture" has led to a mounting waste crisis that poses significant threats to our environment, wildlife, public health, and the ongoing climate crisis. The escalating volume of waste has prompted Unbox Urban Mining, a groundbreaking initiative, to tackle this crisis head-on. Through innovative fintech incentives, Unbox is at the forefront of transforming waste management's value framework and reshaping behaviors and attitudes towards waste management.

The Waste Crisis and the Urgency of Change

The global waste crisis is a pressing concern, with predictions indicating a 70% rise in worldwide municipal solid waste generation to 3.4 billion metric tons by 2050. This crisis affects ecosystems, both natural and economic, and calls for a shift in the paradigm of producer responsibility. Currently, the burden of managing waste falls heavily on local communities and taxpayers, necessitating a change in how the value and responsibility are distributed among stakeholders.

The UK government is already taking action, with a consultation on extended producer responsibility that aims to shift the costs of dealing with packaging waste from local taxpayers and councils to the packaging producers. They estimate that businesses that do not adapt could face costs of GBP 1.7 billion. While they are excluding littered waste for the first two years of the scheme, it's clear that this issue is on course to be included.

Unbox Urban Mining: Redefining Value and Responsibility

Unbox Urban Mining is a pioneering initiative that harnesses the power of fintech infrastructure to revolutionize the concept of value in waste management. It incentivizes individuals and organizations to participate in waste management activities and rewards their efforts based on the value they contribute. Unbox addresses inefficiencies in litter collection, digital deposit return systems, and extended producer responsibility schemes. Its primary goal is to educate the public about the perils of the "throw-away culture" prevalent in many societies.

What Is Urban Mining?

Unbox Urban Mining uses fintech to incentivize people to collaborate on waste management activities by rewarding their efforts. By leveraging fintech technology and infrastructure, Unbox ensures complete traceability and transparency of the impact users contribute to a cleaner environment. Each litter pickup or item recycled becomes a verifiable log of data, including what, where, when, and how the activity occurred. The value derived from these actions encompasses carbon reduction, landfill reduction, and valuable insights for waste management planning.

Unbox Urban Mining has made significant progress in changing perceptions and behaviors towards waste management through financial incentives. Projects and impact have reached a massive scale, especially in the domain of litter collection. Focus on essential market sectors, such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Digital Deposit systems, is also gaining traction.

Partnerships for a Cleaner Future

Unbox Urban Mining collaborates with organizations and governments worldwide to amplify its impact. In Belgium, they launched "The Click" in partnership with waste management organization FostPlus in 2021. This mobile application incentivizes the pickup and disposal of litter across 581 cities in Belgium, with over 1.5 million pieces of litter collected to date.

In the USA, Unbox's software is being used by Indy Eleven to reward fans for cleaning up the stadium and the community. During match days, fans have been picking up litter every 17 seconds. Unbox is also testing partnerships with the tourism authority of Visit Britain in the UK and a supra-national NGO in the Middle East.

For Extended Producer Responsibility, Unbox is piloting tests in the USA and the UK, focusing on lithium batteries materials management and parenting goods.

Fintech-Powered Transparency and Rewards

Unbox Urban Mining leverages web2 and web3 technologies to ensure transparency and trustworthiness of data collection and rewards distribution. Each contribution is logged verifiably, creating a traceable chain of positive environmental impact. Rewards are distributed in the form of tokens with RuleSets, programmed to specify how users earn and spend them.

For businesses, Unbox provides valuable data on their environmental impact, enabling them to make informed decisions and enhance their sustainability efforts. Supporting Unbox's initiative demonstrates a commitment to responsible corporate practices and fosters positive relationships with customers and communities.

A Brighter Future for Waste Management

Unbox Urban Mining envisions a future where waste is no longer seen as disposable but as a valuable resource to be reclaimed for a cleaner and healthier planet. By scaling up their impact and fostering collaboration with all types of stakeholders, Unbox is driving a global shift towards sustainable practices and a lasting positive change for generations to come.

The world's waste crisis is a global challenge that requires collective action, and Unbox Urban Mining is leading the way to transform waste management into a more sustainable and responsible practice.

Join us in this transformative journey as we continue to make strides towards a cleaner, more sustainable world and reach out to Unbox today.


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