Project Up Update

Project Up Update
01 Mar 2022

Project Up Update

Project Up, a pilot that PETCO is rolling out with funding support from The Coca-Cola Foundation and using the BanQu blockchain technology, has now been implemented in almost 40 buy-back centres across South Africa.

Since October last year, the digital platform, which tracks the trade in recyclables between participating buy-back centres and waste pickers, has recorded over 52 000 transactions by 2 387 waste pickers. At the time of writing, 3 255 347 kilograms of recyclables, worth almost R8 million, had been traded.

The project is helping buy-back centres to accurately record and track their recycling transactions with waste pickers – and trace the origins of the recycling – while providing a real-time business management tool that enables them to better understand and manage their businesses.

Each transaction is shared digitally with the waste picker as a ledger entry in their name. The waste picker gets an SMS receipt for every transaction, helping them to keep track digitally of their income earned through the sale of recyclable materials to various buy-back centres. This enables them to build up permanent digital financial records, which could be used to access credit to grow their businesses.

“As more buy-back centres and waste pickers become a part of Project Up, we continue to be amazed at how versatile the industry is. It is wonderful to witness, but a challenge to have the agility to cater for such a variety of needs,” says Rico Wasserman, PETCO Business Analyst. 

“The vision for the Project shows a clear way forward on what we want to achieve, but the ‘how’ is a continuously evolving process. We want to ensure sustainability through delivering real, tangible value that can be experienced by all participants.”