Plastic Bank pays people for ‘harvested’ waste plastic, which they process into plastic pellets and sell to companies as a recycled raw material – a concept they call Social Plastic.
Plastic waste litters beaches and oceans across the globe. Rather than viewing it as garbage, Plastic Bank empowers local communities by paying them to collect this waste and bring it to a Plastic Bank facility. From there, it is recycled and repurposed, to create raw pellets of Social Plastic for reuse in other industries. The company also offers collectors access to 3D printers, enabling them to create goods for themselves and their communities, helping them to become small-scale entrepreneurs by selling the items they have created.
Plastic Bank actively seeks industries to buy their Social Plastic. In doing so, Plastic Bank not only empowers disadvantaged communities to recycle their local waste and improve their livelihoods, but also encourages corporations to become more conscious of sourcing more sustainable plastic. Plastic Bank has recently completed its final pilot project in Peru and is now working in Haiti.
Why you should care
Plastic pollution is a global problem with as much as 12.7 million tons of plastic washing into the ocean each year. By highlighting the environmental, social and economic benefits of recycling plastic, Plastic Bank is empowering individuals and saving resources.