The global waste and resource crises necessitate and give great impetus for better and more sustainable management of waste. Increasingly, resource and waste streams that once were sent to landfill or incinerated are now reused, recycled, or recovered. Yet, while many laws and policies have been adopted for this very purpose, a number of recurrent challenges persist across interventions seeking to further facilitate the necessary, widespread transitions to sustainable waste management. This perspective article explores the suitability of blockchain technology in overcoming these challenges. In particular, we discuss the opportunities and challenges for blockchain in (1) offering clarity in property rights of products and wastes, (2) supporting law and policy goals by incentivizing sustainable waste management, and (3) maintaining anonymity and privacy for institutions and individuals.
Bibliographical noteThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
FunderFunding Information: This research was part funded by a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2018 award for project titled Tracking and Monitoring Waste: The Law and Blockchain Technology (SRG18R1/180308).
- waste management
- waste law
- circular economy