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How Dubai’s startup uses blockchain to end landfills by rewarding electronics recycling

Today, cell phones are used by billions of people worldwide; it is difficult to fathom modern life without one. Vendors shipped over 1.4 billion devices in 2021, and that only includes smartphones. Additionally, there are millions of sales of computers, tablets, smartwatches, and wireless headphones. How does this impact global ecology? How—if at all—do huge corporations combat the damage that their operations cause?

Published: 10 November 2022, 10:30 am Updated: 10 Nov 2022, 10:18 am

We talked to CEO BANTgo Siarhei Zhyltsou about its GO-CYCLE product that aims to address global electronics waste.

The number of active mobile phone owners worldwide varies according to data from analytics companies. StockApps estimated there were approximately 5.3 billion cell phone users in 2021. Meanwhile, the Statista database lists 6.3 billion devices and estimates that there will be at least 7.7 billion of them in five years. It is clear that the overall trend is toward slow growth.

However, even if we accept the lower level as our standard, 67% of people worldwide own and regularly use mobile phones.

Each device consists of numerous circuit boards and connectors built from mined rare metals. The environmental effects of such actions “are likely to be considerably more substantial than we believe,” according to Phys.org.

Let’s start with the network’s definition of “electronic waste,” which is provided as “one of the forms of garbage that contains abandoned electronic and other electrical equipment, as well as their parts” (eng. WEEE, e-waste). Based on the compounds they contain, these wastes are classified as having a variety of hazards.

Simply put, outdated gadgets that we no longer use, such as smartphones, refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, and other electronics, are considered “electric waste.” Fifty-three million tons of such “electrowaste” accumulated worldwide in 2019 alone, according to the Global E-Waste Monitor, a study on the recycling of electrical equipment in various nations that was produced, among…

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