Did you know that the Philippines contribute to 80% of ocean plastic pollution in the world? In 2021, Science Advances published a study that showed 4,820 rivers in the Philippines emitting plastic waste leakage into the ocean.
While that sounds pretty grim, the fact remains that, statistically, the Philippines produces 2 billion kilograms of plastics each year. When calculated, this could amount to Php24 billion (or around $480 million) a year. To tackle this problem, Benjoe Vidal developed TrashCash to help Filipinos properly segregate and dispose of plastics. Instead of plastic waste going into the oceans, this app aims to encourage people to recycle for profit.
Recycle and earn
TrashCash utilizes your smartphone’s camera to scan and identify plastic materials. This AI feature can help in categorizing trash for segregation and provide information in regards to the plastic’s value.
Once users are done segregating the plastic waste with TrashCash, they can bring their trash to the nearest drop-off center and collect “trashpoints.” These points can be used to redeem rewards from partnering businesses for items ranging from groceries, coffee, and even credit.
For those who don’t have a mobile phone on hand and are unable to download TrashCash, interested parties can still participate by going to the drop-off centers and present their valid ID. This will be used to generate a QR code for the individual to still earn points when they bring their plastic waste.
OneNews was able to interview Vidal, who expressed his hopes that more local government units (LGU) will adopt the app. That way, the LGUs can also help with the implementation of plastic segregation. The more partnerships they can establish with LGUs, the more communities can benefit from it. The more plastic wastes being recycled—like portable chargers and bicycles — the healthier the environment becomes.
At the moment, TrashCash is being implemented in one district in Manila, but hopefully, it will be spread further for Filipinos to practice sustainable living. For now, the app is available for Android.
YouTube: TrashCash – Climathon, Silang
Photo credits: The feature image has been taken by OCG Saving The Ocean. All other images are owned by TrashCash and have been provided for press usage.
Sources: Science Advances / Nina Angela Cruz (OneNews)