The awareness about environmental problems is constantly growing, with activists, politicians, journalists, and researchers hitting up the conversation around it more and more. According to Gallup, concerns about environmental issues are almost two-decade high among Americans, with 44% of the US citizens being anxious about it “a great deal.”
Waste generation is currently one of the critical issues that significantly impacts the ongoing destruction of the planet that we all live on. Consequently, the question of responsible disposal is an important one. Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials in order to conserve resources and decrease pollution is the effort that humanity should make.
It’s exactly these thoughts that motivated entrepreneur Sergey Shayakhmetov to found Binpong, an EcoTech startup that harnesses the power of Web3 and gamification to motivate people to recycle more. Pondering how all the ecological issues would impact his daughter’s generation’s future motivated him to take action.
Binpong’s Mission to Gamify Recycling
The principal goal of Binpong is to reduce landfill waste by turning recycling into a fun experience with the help of gamification. “We’re very serious about creating a tangible impact on environmental sustainability,” the startup’s CEO and founder Shayakhmetov states.
He says that the startup’s team aims for nothing less than a behavioral revolution. “We want to make recycling addictive,” he explains playfully, emphasizing that gamification is a well-known tool for changing human behavior. It may be a good chance to increase the US recycling rate up from the 32% registered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Brands and Consumers Are Ready for Action
Today, when big brands are ready to take care of recycling their packaging, Binpong is eager to connect them with the consumers who are willing to take action too. Accenture’s research found out that more than half of consumers from America, Europe, and Asia were up for paying more for sustainable products that could be recycled and reused. “If people are even ready to pay more for sustainability, imagine their enthusiasm if they are rewarded for recycling,” notes Shayakhmetov.
Moreover, as he admits, brands simply can’t afford to ignore sustainability issues any longer. After all, it can hurt their image and consumers’ loyalty as much as it hurts the environment. It’s surely not a path to the future.
The Mechanics of Binpong
With Binpong, a consumer’s journey starts when they decide to recycle packaging or a piece of it. They need to find a recycling bin and submit a photo of the packaging to the Binpong mobile app.
Then, they should toss the item into the bin to get rewarded with Binpong coins. Blockchain helps to make the reward system truly transparent. Within the app, the coins can be exchanged for goods and services. Users are able to swap earned points for gift cards, discounts, and even charitable donations.
With the help of artificial intelligence, the app verifies that the submitted packaging is indeed recyclable. It also checks the photo of the submitted item and the closeness of the user’s geoposition to a validated drop point in order to make sure that people are honest in their recycling efforts.
The Power of Community Efforts
Another of Binpong’s ambitions is to become a movement and promote a collective effort. “We believe in the power of togetherness and want to build a community of eco-warriors who are eager to change the world,” says Shayakhmetov.
He adds that recycling should definitely be fun, and it can be achieved through interaction with others because it’s also an essential part of many games. As a part of the community, Binpong users will have access to leaderboards and challenges.
Binpong’s Course to the Future
Binpong has already attracted investor’s attention, raising $1M in the seed round. The startup has also secured a number of partnerships but still aims to grow further, unlocking new collaborations with eco-conscious brands and companies. “Our partnerships with consumer brands allow us to offer unique incentives and integrate sustainable practices into daily consumer habits,” proudly explains Shayakhmetov.
The main challenge that awaits Binpong in the near future is sustainable growth. The startup is planning to scale up, and the trick is to make it in a way that’s healthy for the company.
Simultaneously, the team behind Binpong is going to keep leveraging the app’s user experience. “We’ll be using data analytics and AI to perpetually improve our platform, making it not just a recycling program but a daily habit people look forward to,” says Shayakhmetov.
In a world that is currently gravitating toward tech pessimism, it’s refreshing to learn about startups that thoughtfully use the power of technology to bring sustainability, tackle ecological issues, and build a better future. It’s nice to dream about colonizing Mars in some distant future, but it’s no less important to build companies that solve humanity’s burning questions right here, right now.