Blockchain-Enabled Circular Plastic Supply Chains

End of last year Infinite Trust Digital's CTO Dr. Christian Baumann contributed to an international Blockchain research project "Plastic Supply Chains".

The project was conducted by the Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC Research GmbH) together with the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) and the Coca-Cola HBC Group. Goal was to investigate to what extent the recycling rate of PET bottles can be increased by using blockchain-based incentive mechanisms.

The concept was as follows:

PET bottles are equipped with individual codes (marked by QR codes) to enable tracking & tracing.
Customers would use a smartphone app to document purchases or recycling events.
Customers would receive reward points for their activities.
The reward points could then be used for various incentives (donations or raffles for non-cash prizes).
No personal data is processed.

The corresponding Blockchain application was developed Dr. Christian Baumann.

Key points of the system:

Use of a private (consortium) blockchain to guarantee the highest data protection requirements.
Use of "Proof-of-Authority" in order not to generate unnecessary energy consumption as e.g. with Proof-of-Work.
Mapping of sales and recycling points, donation recipients and (anonymous) users as well as tracking & tracing in the blockchain.
Mapping of PET bottles as "non-fungible tokens" (NFTs) and reward points as "reward tokens" (fungible tokens).
Calling all backend functions via an API, the perfect smartphone app for users was built by Patrick Taudes (Linkplicity).
CPSC System Architecture CPSC system architecture (Figure © ABC Research)

System architecture

The results were presented at ABC Blockchain Talk #9 - "Towards a Circular Plastic Supply Chain: Blockchain & Recycling", among other events. Christian Baumann reported on individual aspects of the implementation, including the mapping of NFTs and FTs in MultiChain based Blockchain applications, under the title "The Private Sector Blockchain and its use in the CPSC project".

Additional information can be found here: