An environmental cryptocurrency has been making waves on the beaches of Maldonado province in Uruguay.
Plasticoin is a circular economy project that seeks to clear the idyllic beaches of plastic.
Nicole Wyaux and Juan Rivero are the brains behind the enterprise, which first started in Piriápolis.
Users have to sign-in on Plasticoin’s website, where they trade a minimum of 1kg (2,2 lbs) of plastic for the virtual currency.
Local collection points accept the plastic in exchange for the cryptocurrency offering them discounts at certain shops.
The project has since won the support of the National Development Agency (ANDE).
“If we keep consuming in the way that we are and we don’t really think about our habits, in a short period of time we won’t be able to enjoy nature or the things we have now,” explained co-founder Nicole Wyaux in an interview on Saturday.
“The plan has been a success. We set out to reach 140 people in the first four months and to the fifth day, we reached more than 600 people. Today we have over 1300 users,” she added.
Several local businesses have signed up for the programme, which so far has received over $5,000 in government funding since being launched in January of this year. Plans are also afoot to expand the project nationwide.