A blockchain, system change solution for the circular economy | Version 1.1 (2023)
It is estimated that more than 81% of everything produced and consumed by humans ends up as pollutants buried in landfills, dumped into water bodies, or burned into the atmosphere. Trash and the lack of sufficient recycling incentives pose risks to our health, to the environment, to our food and water security, and to the livelihoods of future generations. The take → make → waste economy, known as the linear economy, is a failed economic model because the negative consequences of waste production are offloaded into the environment and waste removal and disposal costs are distributed uniformly across taxpayers, providing no incentive to reduce, sort, reuse, and recycle. The Carrot Foundation is creating a Recycle-to-Earn blockchain protocol and introducing a governance token called $CARROT to establish the decentralized incentive structure needed to achieve high-performance reuse and recycling participation on a global scale.
The Foundation utilizes a resource tracking technology that establishes Proof-of-Environmental-Work by transforming physical waste into unique, traceable digital assets (MassIDs) that record waste provenance all the way to the source, and chain of custody transactions within each ID. MassIDs that reach homologated Reuse and Recycling centers, and whose operations are confirmed by third-party Auditors, get minted into Tokenized Recycling Credits (TRCs) and Tokenized Carbon Credits (TCCs) representing emissions avoided through reuse and recycling.
TRCs & TCCs become tradable assets that can be bought and burned (retired) by corporations needing to offset their waste production in order to meet Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals and/or comply with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mandates, designed to include manufacturers in helping to cover the costs of recycling. The proceeds from the sale of TRCs and TCCs get distributed in the form of stable coins (e.g., $USDC) to recycling chain participants, serving as additional capital to service providers, and incentives for greater participation in sorting by consumers and waste generators in general. Participants can swap stable coins for $CARROT tokens to obtain ownership and voting participation in the Carrot DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) created to democratically steward the direction of the protocol. TRCs, TCCs, and $CARROT provide the transition mechanism we need to create a sustainable reuse → make → recycle circular economy that will significantly reduce land, water, and air pollution, preserve natural resources, and aid in the regeneration of our planet for use by future generations. We believe reuse and recycling can be scaled to cut waste by more than 90% (meeting the Zero Waste goal) in less than 15 years. Post-consumer and post-industrial waste is tangible, measurable, and verifiable, and we believe that recycling offers the best return on investment of any pollution reduction and/or climate abatement strategy available today.