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Chinese Bank Uses Digital Yuan Giveaway to Promote Waste Recycling Drive

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Signs that read: "Recyclable" and "Unreductible" in both English and Chinese.
Source: CE Photography/Adobe

A Chinese commercial bank has launched new digital yuan-powered recycling rewards programs, with citizens receiving CBDC tokens in exchange for recycling their waste.

Per Danzong, via Xinhua, the Qingdao Branch of the Bank of Communications has launched a CBDC-powered rewards solution.

The bank debuted its solution in conjunction with the city’s household waste disposal provider Jiaoyun Beijie.

In the past, similar local government programs have sought to give citizens “points” in exchange for using recycling programs.

But the new Qingdao solution will instead look to reward them with the country’s digital fiat.

If the city’s residents put the correct items in local government-assigned recycling bins, the waste disposal firm will automatically enter citizens in a draw.

Winners, selected at random, will be handed “small” quantities of coins.

The coins will be delivered directly to “winning” residents’ digital yuan wallets.

Digital Yuan + Carbon ‘Points:’ New Ground for China’s CBDC?

The firm thinks the drive will incentivize the correct use of recycling programs, as well as boosting “green household drives” and environmental efforts in the city.

It claimed that the project would help create a “greener, low-carbon ecological system” in Qingdao.

The bank’s branch in the city has claimed its goal is to “turn waste recycling into a new trend” and encourage “low-carbon living.”

The bank’s Qingdao team claimed it would further “continue to integrate the digital CNY” with its new “inclusive finance” and “green financing” products.

The Bank of Communications is one of China’s oldest banks.

It is roughly 50% owned by Chinese state organs, although the international banking heavyweight HSBC owns a 19% stake in the company.

It has been particularly active in the CBDC loans space, and its Yuzhou branch recently issued a local IT firm an e-CNY loan worth some $700,000 million e-CNY.

And in May this year, it went on to issue Hunan Province’s first CBDC loan to a tech startup, providing a new firm some $87,000 worth of digital yuan.

China began promoting “zero-waste cities” and recycling programs in 2019, with the goal of radically reducing the amount of waste going to landfill sites.

Colored recycling bins in Shanghai, China.
Recycling bins in Shanghai, China. (Source: WQL [CC BY-SA 3.0])

Last week, JD Technology, the IT services arm of the e-commerce giant (also known as Jindong), announced it was co-launching a digital yuan supply chain financing solution with another major state-run bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

Another state-run commercial bank, the Bank of China, is currently working on Hong King-based e-CNY solutions, also in conjunction with JD.