Technology

The company wants to fight the plastic pandemic

With more than half of UK households throwing recyclable items in general waste bins, Bower is an app that financially rewards people for recycling everyday items. Working with companies like Nestlé, L’Oréal and Unilever, it aims to encourage more people in the UK to recycle.

Worthwhile recycling

Bower is an app rewards users with money and coupons and allows them to donate to charity whenever they recycle everyday waste items.

Co-founded in 2015 by brother and sister team Suwar Mert (CEO) and Berfin Roza Mert (COO)the company has experienced rapid growth in the last 12 months and is currently one of the most popular apps in Sweden and in its category worldwide.

Bower’s 300,000 users in the Nordic region recycle more than 1.4 million packages each month and the platform has helped save over 1,000 tonnes (1 million kg) of CO2 to date. Bower recently raised €4.1m ($4.7m) in a late seed round led by blq Invest that will allow it to expand globally into the UK and US.

How the app works

The free Bower app, available for both Android and iOS, allows users to register any product by scanning its barcode, and any recycling site they take it to. Once an item has been recycled, rewards can be claimed in the form of points — which can be exchanged for coupons granting users discounts on future purchases — or redeemed as money.

Users can deposit this money straight into their bank account, transfer it to a friend, or donate it to charity, with over €12,300 raised to charity through Bower to date. The app’s database is built through crowdsourcing, and users are constantly registering new barcodes and recycling points to expand Bower’s reach.

Turn brands into recycling champions

Bower works with brands like consumer giants Nestlé, L’Oréal and Unilever to help them meet their sustainability goals. Businesses using Bower can use the app’s data to track the lifecycles of their products and understand consumer behavior around item types and recycling times and locations.

This insight, along with access to an extensive app user base, enables businesses large and small to improve their environmental efforts and ensure more items are recycled.

Fight against the plastic pandemic

A major impact of Covid-19 has been the increase in single-use items and waste around the world. A report by Defra, the UK government’s environment agency, found that waste in England increased by over 881,000 tonnes during the pandemic, which also coincided with the lowest recycling rates since 2011. Despite this, a 2021 report by the charity WRAP found that recycling is an established norm in the vast majority (90%) of UK households.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), America’s recycling rate has actually been declining since 2015, and in 2018 (the most recent year for which EPA data is available) it was only about 32 percent of all municipal solid waste.

The Bower app also educates the public about litter and plastic pollution, which is crucial considering the same WRAP report found that more than half of UK households put recyclable items in general waste bins. Bower users can easily scan packaging barcodes to learn more about its materials and recyclability, while also using the app’s built-in GPS to locate the nearest recycling point.

“We’re really excited about this next chapter in the Bower story. Bower’s recycler community is a great example of how we can all do our part and how recycling can benefit the planet and people at the same time. Our vision, our goal, is never to smear anything again,” said Suwar Mert, CEO and co-founder of Bower.

https://techround.co.uk/news/the-company-aiming-to-fight-the-plastic-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-company-aiming-to-fight-the-plastic-pandemic The company wants to fight the plastic pandemic

Fry Electronics Team

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