Bottle Economy

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A system where locals connect with their nearest wholesalers to sell plastic wastes. The model inculcates them to recycle thrown-away plastics by providing monetary incentives, promising pollution reduction.

The proposal

The COVID-19 has coerced us to adopt stringent lockdown policies that would leave a long-term socio-economic impact in Bangladesh. In our country, only 15% of the population earns above $6 per day. We can only imagine the situation to worse due to the ongoing pandemic as the overall instability in the economic sector has already pushed 77.2% of previously non-poor people of rural areas, down the poverty line. Under the circumstances, the country’s vulnerable population is even going through massive food insecurity.

Our goal is to build a recycling mentality in both the rural and urban communities of Bangladesh as well as reduce the amount of plastic discharge in the environment while giving the poor a greater stake in the business by providing them with the extra earning opportunities.

Our strategy is to create a platform where people can connect with their nearest traders to sell plastic wastes using USSD.


  1. Economic Stability for people below the poverty line:
    The primary goal is to involve the very poor people who are deprived of proper wages of waste collection. We want to also include the local shopkeepers who can play the role of an agent to buy wastes from the poor people by giving the proper incentive. Our work would be to act as a bridge between the waste collectors and the recyclers which we believe will make the local economy more sustainable.
  2. Focus on Human-Centred Design System:
    Being the vulnerable part of the society, most of the rural people are not aware of the functionalities of technological devices and possess inherent discomfort in handling them. They often become uninterested in learning modern tech-advancements and hence we will be adapting the USSD method which will provide a unique design, entirely in favor of them.
    One of the greater outcomes of the Bottle Economy will be to develop a behavioral change among the unaware people regarding the adversity of waste disposal here and there. So, by adopting this proposed eco-system, we can bring about significant changes in the whole waste management procedure.

Our mission also aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and we plan to execute this project with a vision of building a greener world.

Why now with the pandemic?

The pandemic has hit us right when we were overwhelmed by problems due to the ecological crisis. As the social distancing continues; there are not many options available for us to provide the vulnerable group with employment opportunities. With our initiative, we’ll provide them with extra earning scopes while causing a behavioral change as well as creating a positive impact towards building a pollution-free environment.

Moreover, we’ll be able to respond to the concerned groups with minimum technological requirements and help them to overcome the economic disruption caused by this pandemic, resulting in an overall social, political and economical development.

How does this deliver social, economic and environmental benefits?

Social: Our project will inculcate recycling behavior among the mass people and advance the society a step towards building a resilient and sustainable society. It will create a positive mentality among the people which will work as the key driving force behind the total ecosystem.

Economic: The project will provide an opportunity to generate extra side income to the poor people. Thus improving the financial condition of the society.

Environmental: The initiative will inspire people to recycle harmful wastes including non-biodegradable plastics. This will radically reduce the amount of wastes dumped in the rivers and oceans, improving the quality of marine life.

The team

Mohammad Rayed

Mohammad is studying Computer Science and Engineering at North South University (NSU) in Bangladesh. He is serving as the Chair of the IEEE NSU Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) Student …

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Asma Arisha

Asma is a student at North South University (NSU), Bangladesh. She is majoring in Computer Science and Engineering. She’s served as the Chair of the award-winning Region 10 Exemplary IEEE …

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