By David Katz
Founder and CEO, Plastic Bank
Plastic Bank is working to stop ocean plastic while reducing poverty. By enabling the exchange of waste plastic for money, goods, or blockchain-secured digital tokens, Plastic Bank reveals the true value of the material, making it too valuable to throw away. This empowers recycling ecosystems around the world, driving responsible economic development in underprivileged communities and reducing the flow of plastic into our oceans.
Most ocean plastic comes from developing nations where no recycling infrastructure exists. Plastic Bank constructs this infrastructure and pays a Social Plastic® premium rate for plastic waste, ensuring that a consistent, liveable income is earned by its collectors. Increased incentives for recycling motivate communities to take action against their everyday pollution. Plastic Bank also enables local entrepreneurs to set up and operate their own Plastic Bank branch as a fully supported franchise.
Plastic collected at Plastic Bank branches is recycled and sold as Social Plastic® to organizations who want to create a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and socially responsible supply chain for their products. The value of Social Plastic® goes beyond the commodity price of plastic: a ladder of opportunity is created for the world’s impoverished and our oceans are protected from pollution.
Using its innovative digital platform and its experience in Haïti, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Plastic Bank is creating a digital ecosystem that will allow for a worldwide, open-source Social Plastic® revolution. In the meantime, Plastic Bank continues to expand its recycling infrastructure in these regions and develop new markets, such as Mexico and Brazil.