Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to our oceans and marine life. The United Nations estimates that every year 8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in waterways and if we continue to consume and discard single-use plastics at this rate, by 2050 there could be more plastic in our ocean than fish. Plastic Bank® builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities while simultaneously creating positive economic opportunity for those who helped collect it.
Currently, more than half of plastic produced is designed to be single-use, and less than 9% is recycled. Today, over 5 trillion pieces of plastic litter the ocean. The most famous accumulation of discarded plastic is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of floating plastic pollution approximately three times the size of France. To fight plastic pollution, society must move away from the linear model of “Take, Make, Dispose”, and instead embrace a circular model that recycles and reuses the same resources indefinitely.
Plastic Bank promotes the circular economy by monetising plastic waste. Their collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect which helps them provide basic family necessities. The collected material is reborn as Social Plastic® which can be easily reintegrated into products and packaging as part of a closed-loop supply chain.
Not only does Plastic Bank prevent ocean bound plastics from reaching our waterways, they also reduce the amount of new plastics being created by encouraging companies to switch to recycled sources.
Plastic Bank builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities, and reprocesses the materials for reintroduction into the global manufacturing supply chain. The plastic is sorted, weighed and exchanged for digital tokens that can be redeemed for basic necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition, and health insurance.
Plastic Bank is helping the world stop ocean plastic, while improving the lives of those who collect it.
Plastic Bank currently operates in Haiti, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Egypt. To maximise positive impact, Plastic Bank selects their location sites based on three core criteria: high unemployment, high poverty, and high plastic pollution. In doing so, they directly contribute to 14 of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Plastic Bank uses cutting edge blockchain technology developed by IBM to transform plastic waste into digital tokens, which can be safely stored and traded. Plastic Bank’s proprietary platform secures the entire transaction and provides real-time data visualization across the value chain – allowing for transparency, traceability, and rapid scalability.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Plastic Bank is recognized as an innovative, market-based approach to helping the world stop ocean plastic while improving the lives of those who help collect it. They have been endorsed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and received the UN “Momentum for Change” Climate Solutions Award. Learn more here.