Mathelin Bay Associates LLC is blazing a PlastiTrail to NPE2018.
PlastiTrail.com is the name of the online global plastics marketplace that Mathelin Bay, a St. Louis-based consulting firm, will open on May 7, the first day of NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla.
The site will be open for registration April 17. Company officials said PlastiTrail will be the first blockchain-enabled site in the plastics industry.
Buyers will be able to offer plastic resins, compounds and scrap for sale on the site, Managing Director Phil Karig said in an April 10 phone interview.
“Trust and transparency is what this is about,” he said.
Mathelin Bay designed PlastiTrail on a blockchain platform to break down barriers preventing buyers and sellers of those products from finding and contracting with trustworthy trading partners, either in their own country or in foreign markets, officials said in a news release.
Through blockchain technology, sales contracts made on PlastiTrail will be almost impossible to alter in the event of questions about contract representations or about the quality of shipments, they added. The origin of individual shipments will also be easier to trace, officials said, which can support more sales of higher value-added plastics.
Secure, tamper-resistant documents can be used in origin requirements for regulations, such as the California Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act. That act has a provision for a minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled plastics content in various products sold in California.
The PlastiTrail blockchain “will provide a secure record of plastics contracts entered into on the marketplace, including any certifications, technical data sheets, photographs and other representations which will be duplicated, published, stored and encrypted at multiple locations around the world,” Karig said.
“Beyond contract representations stored in the blockchain” he added, “secure and encrypted information about the origin of plastics resins, compounds or scrap will allow plastics distributors and brokers to potentially sell more name brand and less generic plastics.”
PlastiTrail also will have a ratings system, where suppliers can earn high ratings from customers. Karig compared this ratings system to those used by Amazon and eBay.
“One of the problems in the industry has been that there's not enough trust,” Karig said April 10. “There are a lot of unknown companies. But now [with PlastiTrail], if a broker says that he made a sale to ExxonMobil, for example, there's a way to confirm it.”
Blockchain technology was first used in 2008 with bitcoin digital currency. The technology prevented double spending for that product.
Karig founded Mathelin Bay in 2010. The firm offers supply chain and technical consulting services to plastics processors and investors. Karig has more than 20 years of industry experience, including as a purchasing executive with Spartech Corp. and Uniroyal Technology Corp.