Waste Aid to fight plastic pollution with blockchain technology

Blockchain technology will support Waste Aid’s mission to share low-cost waste management expertise to communities that need it most around the world, in the charity’s new partnership with Edinburgh-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Zumo.

Through the partnership, Zumo users will be able to automatically donate funds to Waste Aid whenever they send, exchange, buy or pay with cryptocurrencies through the new Zumo app. Visitors to the Waste Aid website are also able to make a one-off or monthly donation.

The funds raised will support over 1.7 billion adults who do not have access to modern financial services, as well as further support Waste Aid’s mission to bring waste management services and expertise to communities around the world.

Ceris Turner-Bailes, Chief Executive of WasteAid, adds commented: “One in three people globally do not have a waste management service and have to burn or dump their waste, leading to serious health problems and adding to marine litter and climate change.

“This partnership with Zumo will mean we can better support the communities that will benefit most from safe and sustainable waste management and together we can help tackle the issues right at the heart of global waste pollution.”

Nick Jones, Founder of Zumo, said: “Although blockchain technology and waste management appear to speak different purposes, in reality they share a common vision to empower communities and create long-term sustainable livelihoods for people globally.

“There is so much that developed markets can learn from the communities that WasteAid supports – from the seamless use of digital payments in everyday life that make access to modern financial services inclusive to taking better care for our planet. Our partnership with WasteAid is one of common values and we can’t wait to get started.”

This is just one of the partnerships through which Waste Aid is extending its international reach, with the charity having recently launched a new initiative to empower green entrepreneurs in South Africa, India and Vietnam to take control of their local waste situations.

Waste Aid aims to tackle marine plastic pollution and reduce carbon emissions in these countries and beyond: the charity’s ‘Widening the Net’ appeal last year raised over £168,000 to help prevent plastic pollution in the Cameroon estuary, while a recycling centre was set up in Kenya to improve the country’s waste management and sanitation situation.

Recently, the charity ran a virtual safari, which took place during the UK’s lockdown with the aim of raising funds for waste collectors in Kenya.

The charity’s work in Africa is ongoing, with a two-year plastics recycling project currently underway in The Gambia. Similar projects have been run in Kenya, Ghana and Somaliland, with the aim of improving recycling know-how and developing waste management systems.