Smart coders are using blockchain tools to minimize waste & build the circular economy. Here they are:

Dec 4, 2018 · 5 min read

[Major Updates (December 11, 2019) below at NEW projects 9 & 10!]

1. Littercoin/

Along with CleanApp, Littercoin is an original player in the Clean[Block]Tech space. Launched by a self-taught developer, Seán Lynch, is the first service to offer blockchain rewards (Eth-based token called Littercoin) for generating geo-spatial information.

OLM has committed to making its crowdsourced data freely-available on an open-source basis. It has a growing community, and a mobile app that has the potential of becoming the easiest crypto-earning platform available globally. Not too shabby.

Needless to say, we’re big fans.

2. PlastX

PlastX describes itself as a marketplace where you can buy the plastic you need direct from the community. The project is headed by the same folks behind The Plastic Circle. In a nutshell, plastic collectors get paid to clean plastic in particular areas. Blockchain rewards are a natural fit.

3. WasteSpace is an Australian team. Here’s their description from Twitter: “Using blockchain technology to improve our environment by incentivizing people to pick up litter.”

The website is down as of December 2018, so it’s not clear whether they are defunct or in stealth development.

4. IBM Plastic Bank

Yup, Big Blue is hip to the game.

Working with IBM and service provider Cognition Foundry, The Plastic Bank ( is mobilizing recycling entrepreneurs from the world’s poorest communities to clean up plastic waste in return for IBM blockchain rewards that can be redeemed for life-changing goods.

The founding team is comprised of David Katz & Shaun Frankson (active since May 2013), and the team keeps growing in South East Asia and South America. Given IBM’s investment, this shows big potential.


Founded in January 2018, is the newest kid on the block. But it’s headed by a crew of Norwegians, so it’s also one of the coolest kids on the block. A few days ago they won this nifty prize. Congratulations!

The basic premise is similar to each of the projects above: pay people to pick up plastic, and redeem it for blockchain rewards. Empower’s distinguishing feature is provenance tracing — using blockchain mapping to trace the trash to particular producers.

CleanApp’s approach to provenance tracing is described in our U.S. utility patent, and subsequent Whitepaper. We can’t wait to learn more about Empower’s approach and do a massive mind-share with our new Nordic friends. If Norwegian Vikings could reach Newfoundland, their successors may be the heroes we need to eliminate the roots of our marine pollution problem — right at home.

6. Google

Yeah, yeah, yeah — we know what you’re thinking. But Google actions speak louder than words in terms of pollution tracking and mapping. As of November 2019, Google now allows billions of people to do roadside hazard/debris reporting directly from GoogleMaps (without the need to even upload a photo!). Google is also making great strides in other forms of pollution mapping.

The main problems we see with Google’s approach is characterizing pollution tracking efforts as CSR-type “sustainability” or “special projects.” Google is a data company. These are the world’s largest untapped data opportunities. Google knows this because it is walking the walk; now it is time to talk the talk.

CleanApp has reached out directly to Google to get GoogleBrain to realize that there’s far more opportunity in treating these markets like … markets, rather than looking at pollution and waste data as a sandbox for prototyping new technologies that may one day lead to … markets.

Our petition needs your support. Please help.

7. Mattereum

Mattereum is in a league of its own. While technically not Clean[Block]Tech, the Mattereum litepaper makes clear that once we can track physical assets on blockchain, then the technical infrastructure is there for pollution tracking and carbon credit trading.

[Mattereum] opens up new solutions to problems such as climate accounting. These tokens could represent carbon offsets or credits, and assets could be set up to allow use only if the user has paid in enough carbon credits to offset the carbon produced in typical usage.

Inspired and inspiring. CleanApp is doing everything it can to help that effort.

8. @EthBounties

EthBounties is a ConsenSys project that allows anyone to create blockchain bounties for anything. Then the EthBounties team created bounties to cleanup waste. And here’s what happened:

Joseph Lubin (ConsenSys) broadcast this example in a recent tweet on the state of crypto. This suggests greater investment in projects like these.

9. CommonsStack

This is a BIG addition to this space. In a nutshell, here’s what CommonsStack brings to the table:

  • libraries of token scheme templates (copy, paste, deploy)
  • trusted support networks to help teams launch their projects
  • best-in-industry modeling software (open-source cadCAD)
  • dynamic augmented bonding curves
  • modular components & interoperability

What does all of this mean? Well, it means that if a small university environmental society wants to experiment with a blockchain token reward to incentivize litter/hazard reporting, they don’t have to start from scratch.

Even more importantly, this network of activists would be able to run complex simulations to test how their tokens would potentially influence community behavior, before issuing a single token!

Next, underlying tools like cadCAD & CommonsStack templates give much more functionality than today’s relatively simplistic issuance models. For instance, CommonsStack components may permit changing issuance schedules, including real-time adjustment of incentives.

Disgusted by the overflowing trash bins at American National Parks during a government shutdown? The National Park Service, and/or that same university environmental society, and/or Sierra Club may be interested in instantly increasing the value or issuance of rewards to deal with this particular extraordinary trash problem, right here, right now.

The greatest thing about the CommonsStack? These folks are lifers! They are committed to solving this problem, which is just 💚!

CleanApp was recently accepted into the Trusted Seed, and we strongly recommend that you check it out and apply. This is a really big news. Please stay tuned for more CommonsStack-related analysis in early 2020!

10. Litterati

Yeah, the global Litterati team of 150,000+ litter mappers is thinking of jumping down the crypto rabbit hole! In an email poll a few weeks ago, Litterati is asking its community members whether they would be incentivized by a badge or crypto reward. The email does not have many more details, but judging from that email, Litterati crypto rewards might be added in “early 2020.”

We! 👏 Can’t! 👏 Wait! 👏

11. Clean[Block]Tech

This is a growing list.

If we missed a cool project, please let us know by dropping a response below. We have several other projects we are doing due diligence on, and we will add updates. The key takeaway from this list is that each of the small projects without a patron needs your direct financial support.

So please bookmark this page, and stay tuned for news from the most optimistic, promising, and uplifting slice of crypto out there.

CleanApp Report

The CleanApp Report is a publication of the nonprofit…

CleanApp Report

The CleanApp Report is a publication of the nonprofit CleanApp Foundation ( We curate and publish original submissions on the intersection of BigTech, CleanTech, DLT, CivicTech & more.


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Nonprofit incentivizing open-source trash/hazard reporting & remediation ++ cool law stuff ++ "The Wi-Fi & Bluetooth of TrashTech" -

CleanApp Report

The CleanApp Report is a publication of the nonprofit CleanApp Foundation ( We curate and publish original submissions on the intersection of BigTech, CleanTech, DLT, CivicTech & more.

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