Approximately $40,000 worth of plastic is dumped into the world’s oceans every minute.
Since the pandemic was declared, the amount of trash filling our oceans has only multiplied. In fact, COVID-19 has triggered an estimated global use of 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves every single month. Single-use plastic has exponentially increased because of more takeout and establishments not using reusable beverage containers.
What’s more, up to a shocking 91% of plastic isn’t properly recycled.
There is an identifiable issue in the plastics industry – it involves single use plastics. Plastic Bank is working hard to address this. However, we are taking this one step further because we believe in a bigger, more comprehensive solution. Our work also creates an avenue for those less fortunate in coastal communities to improve their lives.
So, how are we doing this?
Simply put, we utilize a social enterprise model to make a sustainable impact.
Plastic Bank has been designed with a powerful solution in mind:
- We harness the power of business and entrepreneurship as a force for good: We believe that the best way to create sustainable change is by leveraging the power of business, technology and entrepreneurship. We have monetized plastic waste, utilizing our bespoke Alchemy™ blockchain app that enables secure, transparent and traceable transactions. Our model powers the gig economy by creating opportunities for underserved people in coastal communities to work as recycling entrepreneurs. Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect, helping them provide necessities such as groceries, education and health insurance for their families. We have over 320 active collection points around the world and over 17,000 individual collectors in vulnerable coastal communities such as Haiti, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil and Egypt taking part in our circular plastic economy.
- We’re changing the plastic narrative: For too long, people have viewed plastic as ‘the problem’. But it’s not; people are the problem. We’re on a mission to help consumers view plastic not as waste, but as a material that can be reintroduced into the global manufacturing supply chain. Our solution includes the creation of a sustainable Social Plastic ® ecosystem that ultimately helps the environment and the communities we operate in globally. The materials collected by our plastic collectors are reintroduced into the global manufacturing supply chain as Social Plastic ® , which is then reintegrated into products and packaging around the world.
- We move at the speed of business: The pandemic changed the fundamental ways people interact, conduct business and operate on a day-to-day basis. As a social enterprise, we were able to easily pivot our operations as needed and continue to engage plastic producers in meaningful conversations. This has been especially important during the pandemic when single use plastic consumption has reached all- time highs.
- We are providing big business with a way to reduce its plastic footprint: We’re attracting and working with partners around the world, including Henkel and SC Johnson, among many others. For example, our Social Plastic ® has been re-introduced into the supply chain in recognizable household products – such as Windex® bottles. And this past April, we announced that we reached a significant milestone of stopping one billion plastic bottles (the equivalent of 20 million kilograms of plastic) from entering the world’s oceans and reintegrating this into consumer products!
Every piece of plastic humans have ever produced is still on the planet in some form or another, contributing to the 10 trillion kilograms of plastic we currently have here on Earth. Our moment is now, and we need to use innovative business models, such as social enterprises to tackle complex issues such as plastic pollution.
David Katz is the founder and CEO of The Plastic Bank, an internationally recognized
solution to ocean plastic.