The Alliance is a non-profit organization that brings together a community of members from across the plastics value chain to combat the global waste challenge. As part of their work with the organization, IBM will collaborate with the Alliance to design a new data platform hosted on IBM Cloud to help track plastic waste and recovery globally.
Called Plastics Recovery Insight and Steering Model (“PRISM”) by the Alliance – the platform will aim to serve as a single source of consistent actionable data helping inform how NGOs, value chain participants, communities, regulators and other organizations, improve waste management decisions and programs.
The platform will be designed to allow stakeholders to convene and unite various data sets to collaborate and address the challenge of plastic waste through data. Such areas of focus include plastic consumption and collection; plastic waste generated and leaking into the environment; waste management and recycling solutions in place; and additional data sets as the tool is expanded.
“A very significant obstacle we face in combatting the plastic waste challenge is how to bring together the multitude of data that exists in a way that’s verifiable, flexible and actionable,” said Nick Kolesch, Vice President for Projects, Alliance to End Plastic Waste. “IBM Cloud provides the flexibility to convene stakeholders and value chain participants to securely contribute data, with an easy path for migration, hosting and user access. We are pleased that IBM has joined our efforts, and look forward to their contribution of solutions, advanced technologies and capabilities in pursuit of our mission.”
“Plastics play an essential role in our global economy, from simple packaging and shipping, to critical, life-saving materials for hospitals and healthcare workers,” said Manish Chawla, Global Industry Managing Director, Energy, Resources, and Manufacturing at IBM. “By harnessing the power of cloud and artificial intelligence we can bring together valuable and disparate pieces of data in secured and flexible environment where everyone from Alliance members to governments and regulators can collaborate to address this global challenge.”
The platform will be designed to enable users to easily integrate and scale disparate datasets without compromising their existing security. Development began with the support of IBM Garage – a framework where organizations can work with IBM to fast-track innovation and results by combining technology, design and business strategy.
The collaboration with the Alliance builds on IBM’s long experience in helping clients with their plans to operate more sustainably. IBM technologies including cloud, AI and blockchain, are being used by clients in endeavors that advance their environmental goals.
IBM’s commitment to the environment dates back to as early as 1971 when IBM published its first corporate environmental policy statement. Today, IBM remains committed to good stewardship of the planet’s resources and has made significant progress in managing waste, conserving energy, using renewable electricity, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The 2019 IBM Annual Environment Report detailed that IBM processed significant end-of-life products and product waste, and more than 95 percent (by weight) was reused, resold or recycled.
The Alliance was formed in January 2019, comprising more than 50 member companies, project partners, allies and supporters with a commitment to help end plastic waste in the environment. The Alliance is targeting USD1.5 billion over five years to fund and incubate projects and pilot programs that create value from plastic waste and ultimately support the realization of circular economies. Today, the Alliance has 14 global programs and initiatives and that number is expected to double in the near term.