Hello everyone, this is Melisa! Today’s blog will be our first post about a start-up company called Pirika, Inc., established in Japan. Our staff at CICLO first learned about this company through a television program featured on TV Tokyo.
What does Pirika mean?
Pirika which means “clean” in the native Japanese people’s Ainu language, was created by Fujio Kojima, a young graduate student from Kyoto University in 2011. Every since he was young, he knew he wanted to do something good for our planet. During his university career, he thought about how he could tackle one of the biggest environmental problems in the 21st century: the incremental rise of litter and plastic waste. He traveled around the world to see the problem first hand and he was astounded by what he saw; litter was present in everywhere. When he came back to Japan, he knew he wanted to do something about it and from there with a little help from fellow university mates, Pirika was born.
How does Pirika tackle our environmental problems today?
After many years of planning and looking for supporters and investors, Fujio Kojima currently has three services to offer: an anti-litter smartphone app called Pirika, a litter research and analysis program called Takanome and a microplastics survey device called Albatross. The Pirika app aims to stop litter all over the world with the power of SNS. It is free to download on any smartphone device, it currently has over 500,000 users in 81 countries and over 75 million pieces of trash have been picked up by its users. Takanome, meaning the “hawk’s eye” is an AI-based program used to map and measure the amount and type of litter picked up in certain areas using visual recognition technology. Its main goal is to contribute to providing data and research for evaluating anti-litter campaigns in cities and local communities. Finally, the Albatross device was developed to analyze and find ways to reduce the amount of ocean microplastic pollution recently seen in all parts of the planet.
My review on using the Pirika app
Overall, the app is fairly easy to download and create an account either using your email, Facebook or Twitter account. As soon as you create your account, you are directed to the map of your current location. Here, you can see a log of other users of the app who have picked up different types of trash around your area. Users are able to give “likes” and comment on each litter log.
The next tab is a Timeline, similar to that of Facebook’s timeline. Here, you can see a log of the most recently picked up trash around your surrounding area (Tokyo for example) in real time. This allows you to quickly build a community of people wanting to do their part to maintain a clean and beautiful local area.
The following tab is the Event tab which lists local and nationwide events held during the current month. Several events listed could be local clean-up events, meet-ups and ways to connect with others interested in supporting Pirika’s goals.
The Home tab is also something similar to that of Facebook or Instagram. All of the litter logs you upload will be displayed below your profile photo. Your number of “Thanks” are counted, your degree of influence and total amount of litter collected is all logged for other members to see. This adds to the importance of ranking and building a community of people which the power of SNS can build.
I think the Pirika app has potential to influence others to do their part to clean-up their local area (especially with the growing popularity of SNS). However, more people need to be aware of this movement which CEO Fujio Kojima of Pirika Inc began in 2011. His message to his supporters is the following:
“I love science. I used to tell my grandfather from a young age that I wanted to solve our environmental issues — which were created by science and may be our greatest threat of the 21st century — with the power of science. Pirika Inc. was born to make this dream come true. I started on this journey by first tackling litter and hope to eventually address any environmental issue. It may take years and my path may be circuitous, but I will always move forward toward this goal, one step at a time.”
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this blog and I will see you next time!
For more information about Pirika, please visit their website!
Support Pirika by downloading their free app below!