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Dell using VMware’s blockchain to track recycled packaging

plastic ocean pollution recycling

Cloud and virtualization software company VMware is working with Dell Technologies to track and trace the latter’s recycled packaging material using blockchain. VMware’s Pratima Gluckman shared a few details regarding the project during an interview with GreenBiz.

Southeast Asia accounts for 60% of the total ocean plastic, reports Nikkei. Most laptop and computer peripheral makers, including Dell, have strong supply chains in Southeast Asia. The company is using this to its advantage by adding recycled products in its supply chain.

In 2014, the company started incorporating plastics recovered from e-waste recyclers and recycled into new parts. The idea is to create a circular economy, to prevent plastic from entering the oceans. The firm aims to prevent three million pounds of plastic from entering the oceans in the next five years.

Gluckman said VMware is providing its blockchain solutions to track and trace this recycled plastic. The end-user who has bought a Dell laptop can view the provenance of the recycled material, right to what kind of plastic it was and from where it was recovered.

Dell has an existing supply chain for recycled material comprising of aggregators who collect the plastic, recyclers who process this waste and then the manufacturer who takes that recycled material to make packaging for Dell laptops.

VMware’s blockchain underpins each of these transactions between the aggregator, recycler and the manufacturer. Gluckman said the use of blockchain is to prove the authenticity of the recycled material.

Gluckman added that Dell is also looking at human trafficking at the lowest level. It is using blockchain to verify if the people who collect this plastic are getting paid and are not being forced into doing free labour.

The focus of Dell’s blockchain application for sustainability is for its own supply chain. There is another firm, Plastic Bank, which is using blockchain and tokenization to curtail plastic from entering oceans and fight poverty in Southeast Asian countries.

Two months ago, US-based household cleaning supplies maker SC Johnson partnered with Plastic Bank to buy the recycled plastic for its manufacturing of some of its products.

VMWare is majority-owned by Dell and has its own enterprise blockchain technology platform VMWare Blockchain. It has a high profile partnership with Digital Asset, and the latter’s DAML smart contracting language is integrated with VMWare’s Blockchain. The two are also working together on the ASX DLT-based settlement system which now leverages VMWare’s Blockchain in combination with DAML.