Sojitz Corporation, Recotech Co., Ltd., Nissho Electronics Corporation, and NTT Communications Corporation will begin a trial for a circular renewables platform to visualize plastics historically discarded as waste and other recyclable resources, and facilitate sales of these resources between suppliers and demanders to contribute to the realization of a circular economy.
As concerns of environmental issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, and the depletion of natural resources have increased, so has the urgent call for the realization of circular economies to limit resource waste and to promote recycling of finite resources needed to drive the economy. However, it is difficult to secure quality assurance and a stable supply of recyclable resources. Japan, in particular, has a low recycling rate for waste products. In the trial, this platform will help to visualize the quality and amount of supply for recyclable resources and facilitate sales between suppliers and users in order to contribute to the realization of a circular economy.
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Characteristics of this Platform
This platform will combine the circular renewables platform developed by Recotech, Material Pool System, with NTT Com’s Smart Data Platform to help participating businesses visualize the type, volume, and location of waste generated in real-time and accumulate waste data. During the trial period, plastic waste suppliers and users will be matched, and this platform will enable recyclable resources to be ordered and supplied, a function that will be extended to the transport of recyclable resources and other related services. In addition, this platform will offer users a rating function to provide evaluations of participating businesses. This platform will help to realize a circular economy by promoting business creation not only among users and suppliers of recyclable resources but also for companies involved throughout the supply chain. This platform’s main offerings include the following:
1. Visualizes recyclable resources
This platform will utilize IoT to visualize the type, volume, and location of recyclable waste for each participating business. Data accumulated can be analyzed as part of the platform’s function, which helps to determine whether supply and demand needs can be met and to project via AI analysis the volume of renewable resources that will be generated. As a result, this platform can help to ensure stable supply and demand.
2. Facilitates sales of recyclables and related services
This platform’s functions include facilitating the sale of recyclable resources between participating businesses. Suppliers who were previously forced to discard recyclables from lack of demand can be matched to users with no means of procurement, helping to realize effective recycling of resources. Future plans for the platform include making it possible to place and receive orders for related services such as the transport of recyclable resources, which will contribute to new business creation for logistics companies, recycling companies, and other participating businesses.
3. Provides ratings of participating businesses
This platform will also enable participating businesses to rate the companies from which they buy and sell resources. The ratings can serve as indicators for trade and promote transactions with highly rated companies while discouraging trade with companies with low ratings.
Overview of the Trial
Partner companies will be recruited to use this platform to visualize recyclables that can be supplied by participating businesses, promote sales of recyclables between participating companies, manufacture products that use recyclables from these sales, and provide quality ratings. Verification tests will be conducted to assess the efficacy of this platform, which aims to realize a circular economy.
Improvements will be made to continuous user interfaces (UI) and user experience (UX) through this trial. Additional functions are also under consideration such as quality assurance of renewables as well as mapping of optimal distribution routes. The aim is for all partner companies to experience the value provided by this platform.
Role of Each Company
1) Attract potential partners to utilize this platform
2) Support implementation (commercialization) of this platform
3) Verification and interviews with partners to improve UX
1) Provide Material Pool System and GOMiCO*
2) Verification and interviews with partners to improve UX
3) Propose and plan verification projects using its network of waste-handling industries
1) Propose and plan platform and app-based system development
2) Verification and interviews with partners to improve UI
3) Research and invite external partners to improve service quality
1) Provide the Smart Data Platform to collect, accumulate, and analyze data related to recyclable resources
2) Analyze collected data
Based on the results of this trial, Sojitz, Recotech, NELCO, and NTT Com aim to commercialize this platform in the 2022 fiscal year that will brief us about the further future development plans of the platform.