Japan – Mitsui Chemicals and IBM Japan will work together on a resource circulation platform that utilizes blockchain technology.
The aim through this is to ensure the traceability of materials – a hurdle to clear on the way to achieving a circular economy.
While plastic demand continues to rise around the world, the problems caused by plastic waste are becoming more and more apparent – driving stronger calls than ever for society to shift to a recycling-based economy. Yet to make practical use of recycled raw materials, those involved need to be able to ensure traceability, such as by being able to specify the materials in use.
Ensuring traceability throughout resource life cycle
With the resource circulation platform being planned by Mitsui Chemicals and IBM Japan, the aim is to ensure traceability throughout the resource life cycle, from raw materials like monomers and polymers through to the manufacturing, sales and use of products. This aim applies also to the recycling process thereafter, in which used products are recovered, dismantled, shredded and sorted into raw materials that can be reused to manufacture new products. Additionally, the platform is intended to visualize matters such as the manufacturing processes for recycled raw materials, examination methods, physical properties and quality-related data, thereby facilitating the smooth flow of goods.
More transparent supply chains
Utilizing blockchain technology for this traceability system will aid in making supply chains more transparent. It will also allow various stakeholders to guarantee the neutrality and fairness of operations, make it possible to optimize business transactions and inspections, and help those involved go paperless.
Upon building the resource circulation platform for plastic material traceability, Mitsui Chemicals and IBM Japan will work together toward demonstration testing.