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Israeli Startup Looks to Fight Pollution with Crowd-Cleaning Platform

An Israeli start-up has created the world’s first crowd-cleaning platform designed to incentivize users to clean up the environment.

The CleanCoin app launched five weeks ago in Israel, allows users to easily report or clean up trash piles around them and earn prizes.

“I knew I wanted to create a company that would do good for the world, and I had a lot of ideas,” said Gal Lahat, the company’s 21-year-old co-founder and CTO. “I travel a lot and feel very connected to nature, and it is heartbreaking when you encounter a big pile of litter in a beautiful spot or see a fish trapped in plastic bags. I had an idea that I thought would be simple to implement and have a really big impact.”

The app is simple to use. When you see a pile of litter outdoors, you can take pictures and upload them to the app, where they are tagged on a map and automatically given a score. Then you can either clean up the pile yourself or leave it for someone else to clean. Whoever cleans it up can report it to the system and earn “CleanCoins,” which can be exchanged for real-life rewards.

“The rewards are actually quite worthwhile and pay better than food delivery,” Lahat said. “It comes out to about NIS 10 for one trash bag, which can take about two minutes to fill. We offer some virtual rewards, like upgrading your avatar on the app and things like that. But we also offer great physical rewards, like a free night stay at Abraham Hostels or free clothing from Billabong.”

Rewards are the product of agreements the company has made with suppliers, and many prominent brands have been more than happy to cooperate, Lahat said, adding: “We have deals with travel companies, surf clubs, wall-climbing centers, Azrieli and more.” Cash payouts may also be possible in the future through partnerships with local municipalities, he said.

The reception of the app since its launch last month has been overwhelming, said Adam Ran, CleanCoin’s co-founder and CEO. About 18,000 users have already downloaded and registered on the app, with more joining every day.

“It is amazing how quickly this has taken off,” he said. “Everyone wants to help out and be involved.” (JPost / VFI News)

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