We throw away so much plastic!
There are eight trillion kilograms of plastic in the oceans worldwide and more than eight million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year. However, there may be a way to change the tides and remove plastic from the seas and land and lives of those who are most in need. The Plastic Bank provides an opportunity for people in poverty to build a better future. The company promotes the collection of plastic in receipt for money or products. This means that plastic has become a commodity and as David Katz CEO of The Plastic Bank stated in his latest TED talk ‘blockchain of real life’.
The Plastic Bank create a new social and economic ecosystem centred around recycling and it helps to stop the flow of plastic into the oceans in the world most impoverished areas. The environmental impact in these areas can be quite astounding so this incentivised recycling program helps to promote a new environmental barrier to continued pollution.
The Plastic Bank offers a consistent above-market rate for plastic and individuals who gather the plastic can trade it for money, items or services. It provides an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to set up and operate stores for the poor with plastic waste as the currency.
Plastic collected through The Plastic Bank scheme is collected and recycled then sold at a premium price as Social Plastic®. Large and prestigious companies worldwide such as Marks & Spencer, Shell and IBM have announced their partnership with The Plastic Bank in recent months. The support of which would not be possible without the internet of things, something that has greatly changed the world as we know it and is going to continue to transform the future of the Earth.
David Katz, the CEO of The Plastic Bank’s and the creator of the solution to make plastic waste a currency has been listed in Salt Magazine’s list ‘The World’s Top 100 Compassionate Business Leaders’ #4 on the list and finds himself between Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh social entrepreneur, banker, economist) and Elon Musk (founder and CEO of SpaceX).
The Plastic Bank aims to be the social enterprise who stop plastic from winding up in the ocean or in landfills whilst enriching some of the world’s poorest people. The company have been awarded a United Nations ‘Lighthouse Momentum for Change award’. The awards ceremony is part of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and sustainable futures. Plastic Bank also won the global Sustainia Community award at Paris in 2015.
“The last thing we should be doing, the very, very last thing we should be doing is cleaning the ocean,” Katz said in his TED talk released last week “If you walked into your house and the sink was overflowing, you need to turn off the tap before cleaning up the mess. That’s what it’s like with plastic waste.”
Originally published in February 2018.