Empower Tracking

Using the crowd, blockchain, and incentives to reduce plastic waste across the globe.

Past and Current Partners

SAP.iO SAPs startup/scaleup program with technical, Google program for SDG Startups, Alliance to End Plastic Waste Accelerator program with Plug and Play VC, Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator (Incubation Network), AEPW, UpLink and TopLink (World Economic Forum), The Factory Accelerator, Best Nordic Accelerator Program winner multiple years.

Active Countries
More than 40 countries
Thematic area(s)
SaaS, Blockchain
Organisation Name

The Problem

Globally, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. There is a huge lack of both waste collection data and collection and recycling infrastructure. This makes the shift towards a circular economy very difficult and time-consuming.

The Solution

The Empower Global Plastic Waste Deposit & Tracking System challenges plastic waste by giving plastic a value: anyone who deposits plastic waste at a collection point will receive digital tokens through the Empower mobile application which can be converted into local currency. Through these incentives, Empower collects data from waste collection everywhere in the world and identifies the bottlenecks in waste management infrastructures.

How it works?

  • Step 1: Interested collectors are onboarded to set up and register an organisation and collection point on the platform.
  • Step 2: Empower will run a demo and set up the platform to fit the local need (which materials, data needed to collect, nr of collection points, access for managers etc.)
  • Step 3: Empower connects users with potential sponsors through plastic credits and potential buyers needing materials in that region.
  • Step 4: Users can start collecting and registering the collected materials (timestamps, digital signatures, uploading of pictures and documentation), creating digital inventories at the collection points that can then be tracked onwards in the value chains and also be used as the basis for reporting to plastic credit funders, PROs, owners, municipalities etc.
Digital X Solution Empower Tracking

Bridging the digital divide

Through Empower's mobile application and the use of blockchain technology, these tools increase transparency, market access, and low-cost operations. As the plastic collectors deliver plastic waste, they present their QR code to be scanned and receive tokens immediately to their digital wallet. Empower has learned a lot from working with the informal sector across various regions/continents, and a range of literacy and digital maturity. Therefore there is a strong focus on solutions that are both easily customisable to local settings and making them simple to work on every level.

Impact and highlights

  • Helped 378 organisations set up and run 647 facilities (collection points and recycling facilities).
  • Collected and tracked approximately 21M kgs of materials to date.
  • On the ground, 10,000+ people are directly involved in the collection.

Plans for expansion

Empower Tracking's goal is to have more than 100M users in more than 100 countries by 2025. They are in the early phases of entering several new countries. Including being part of UN Waste Wise Cities, National Plastic Action Partnerships and global NGOs to ensure expansion and have a global impact.