Companies like AEVAE have launched a comprehensive digital solution based on blockchain technology for agricultural waste disposal that uniquely identifies them and enables their traceability in an agile, secure and immutable way.
The Spanish Association for the Recovery of Containers (AEVAE) is a not-for-profit association established with the aim of approving and managing a collective system of extended responsibility for agricultural packaging waste.
The growth of the world population and globalization have led to a sharp increase in the demand for products related to the production of food and thus the massive use of fertilizers and related products. This development includes the generation of thousands of tons of packaging waste, which until a few years ago was thrown away or given up directly on farms, with irreversible effects on the environment.
Technological measures by AEVAE in partnership with other companies
In this context, the company Signeblock, which specializes in digital transformation and blockchain-based digitization solutions, has developed a solution for the traceability and optimization of the management of packaging for agricultural processes together with the environmental consultancy Heura and the association of fertilizer manufacturers AEVAE.
As a system of extended producer responsibility for this agricultural packaging waste, AEVAE must guarantee the collection and correct recycling of the packaging waste generated, avoid uncontrolled disposal and offer alternatives to reintroducing the recovered plastic material into the production system. Creation of a clear model of the circular economy.
By working with Signeblock and using Gouze, its blockchain-based platform for asset traceability, AEVAE can incorporate the benefits of this technology into these environmental management processes and thus promote the effectiveness of the systems that are intended to ensure compliance with the responsibility associated with the manufacture of fertilizers and related products.
The aim of this cooperation is to promote the progressive development of a circular economy, to combat climate change and to achieve the goals set for Europe and the United Nations for the period 2020-2030. in which changes in the production models are required to improve environmental protection.
Another working example is the constant expansion of the AEVAE network of collection points for empty agricultural containers, which improves the service for farmers. In June, in addition to the existing 34, new collection points were created where farmers can leave their agricultural containers empty for free and with the guarantee that they will be treated in an environmentally friendly manner.
Global plastics production has exploded in recent years
Let’s also remember that global plastic production has exploded in the last 50 years and especially in the last few decades. When we analyze it, it’s surprising that we have produced more plastic since 2000 than in all of human history.
Europe and with it Spain are diving into a new paradigm with regard to plastic. It is estimated that 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic will be produced in the European market in 2025 and by 2030 all packaging placed on the market must be effectively recycled. Of course, those used for agricultural purposes are within the same legal framework.
Traceability thanks to blockchain technology
The traceability and transparency of the blockchain technology, as well as the fact that it is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution that all actors can access, helps to understand the entire process that waste is going through, to ensure that it complies with international regulations, and to facilitate traceability by all parties involved in the process.
It is an integral solution with which waste can not only be clearly identified, but its properties and geolocation are integrated into the blockchain. It enables agile, secure and unchangeable monitoring by all agents involved, whether manufacturers, packers or retailers when disposing of waste from production processes.
The solution involves all stakeholders
The solution involves all actors. The sales or collection points for agricultural packaging set up by AEVAE for farmers for the delivery of used packaging are those that activate collective inquiries. The containers received are accumulated and identified in a unique way, and basic information (such as type of container and weight) is provided and a QR code is generated that is attached to each of them for traceability throughout the process.
From there, freight forwarders use the generated QRs for both pick-up at the origin and delivery at the destination to process the user, geolocation and timestamp of both processes in the blockchain via the Gouze app.
In the target center, the same process is carried out to scan the QRs of each bag in order to record the geolocation and its “time stamp” as well as the weight of each individual bag and thus be able to compare it with the initial weight at the origin.
In short, Gouze enables the convergence of information and logistics flows, and the containers themselves are the carriers of their own information, so that each and every one of them is completely traceable throughout the process from origin to destination. Avoidance of any kind of fraud when handling the collected containers.
Marta Gutiérrez, CEO of SigneBlock, explained the importance of bringing blockchain to the waste treatment sector and promoting the development of a circular economy: “It’s about taking into account the traceability that digitization offers us to help fight climate change …”
“It is necessary to create a sustainable production system that manages the information related to waste at all stages of the supply chain in an agile and safe way, optimizes this treatment, verifies compliance with the applicable regulations by each responsible body and allows all parties involved to follow the Treatment that each waste has followed and avoid any kind of fraud or manipulation of this waste. “
For his part, José Guaita, Heura CEO, stated that in order to benefit from the application of these new technologies, manufacturers must manage their waste through an SCRAP (Extended Producer Responsibility System):
“By partnering with other manufacturers, companies receive a management tool with which they can not only support compliance with environmental obligations, but also certify the correct environmental treatment of their waste using new technologies such as blockchain. Manufacturers can monitor the movement of their containers at any time during their useful life until they are recycled. “