Designing a global economy that utilizes the earth’s natural resources in an efficient, ‘sustainable’ manner requires a new approach to valuing product inputs and outputs, rewarding reusability and recyclability and reducing overall waste production. Waste, as previously mentioned, is nothing more than evidence of an economy’s inefficiency with regard to resource management. Putting a price on waste is the best way to incentivize waste reduction. This can be achieved at the individual, business and industry levels. Recycling services should be charged based on the amount of waste generated (Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT)), much like water or electric utility service providers bill customers for the amount consumed. Industries that produce products that are distributed to society should also be required to help pay for waste recovery through an offset mechanism (Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)). Implementing an EPR program is quick and easy and the first step in decentralizing inefficient waste management programs. These are popping up all over the world. Adding PAYT for businesses first and then to the market more broadly, opens the recycling market to private enterprises that can offer high performance hauling, recycling and composting services. Prohibiting organic waste and recyclables from entering landfills and requiring that businesses provide high performance recycling compliance data also help significantly in accelerating the transition to a privately supported circular economy.

Both PAYT and EPR introduce new revenues into the recycling economy and significantly improve the economics of recycling by waste type and the overall business of recycling as a professional service offering (see diagram below).

The cost of high performance recycling in a Zero Waste, low-carbon Circular Economy is ultimately passed on to the waste Generator and to Producers and Consumers. These costs, however, can be offset by the environmental value created to society through participation in certified-recycling programs paid through EPR offsets from industry participants. Environmental service providers (Recyclers) have an additional payment that helps them cover costs and invest to grow their businesses, further expanding post-consumer and post-industrial waste capture and recycling.

The new costs associated with paying to recycle (PAYT) and rewards, payments in $CARROT funded through EPR programs for successfully recovered and recycled waste, fundamentally changes our relationship with waste, helping to make everyone responsible for the waste they create while at the same time offering a solution that empowers each actor to contribute in building a better, cleaner and more sustainable future by helping to sort waste properly and recycle.

In the next section, we will detail how we will enable a diverse set of builders and contributors to come together to help build the decentralized $CARROT protocol that will help the global economy transition to a Zero Waste, low-carbon circular economy.

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