This data is live from Alchemy

Our proprietary blockchain-secured platform

Data last verified: Saturday, 04/20/2024

Ocean-bound plastic

Plastic Bank operates under the global standard defined by Jenna Jambeck. Ocean-bound plastic is defined as plastic that has not yet found its way into the ocean but is classified as "mismanaged waste". That is, plastic that is not being (formally) collected, is not likely to be collected, and is found within 50km of an ocean-bound waterway or coastal area.

Community Members

Individuals within a recycling community who collect plastic and exchange it at a Plastic Bank collection branch for secure income and life-improving benefits.

Equivalent Bottles Stopped

The amount of ocean-bound plastic collected and recycled in our recycling communities converted into bottles. Conversion rate is 50 bottles per kg (the average weight of a 500mL bottle is ~20g)

Recycling Communities

Community of plastic collectors living within 50 kilometres of ocean-bound waterways involved in plastic collection and its exchange at Plastic Bank collection points.


Alchemy is the blockchain platform that powers the Plastic Bank app. It enables fully traceable recycling processes, secures income for recycling community members and tailors impact reports for our stewards.

About Plastic Bank

What is Plastic Bank’s mission, vision, and values?
Our Vision
A wasteless world

Our Values
Serve life

Seek value

Bring together

Breathe into existence

Our Mission
Create a valuable world

When was Plastic Bank founded?
Plastic Bank was founded in May 2013 by David Katz and Shaun Frankson.

“I think the real gift of that day was the realization that I didn’t need to create Plastic Bank. I needed to become the person who could. It was really a spiritual day of awakening for me. There was a still, quiet voice, unattached to outcome, unattached to meaning. It was a space that said ‘you can become the person who makes change in the world’.”

– David Katz, on the moment he conceived Plastic Bank just before lunch on May 9, 2013.

Where is Plastic Bank headquartered?
Our headquarter is located in Canada, in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Our HQ acts as a central hub for our fully remote, globally distributed workforce.

Is Plastic Bank a non-profit?
We are a for-profit social enterprise. We re-invest profits to socialize recycling for a greater social, environmental, and economic impact.

What is a social enterprise?
As defined by Investopedia, a social enterprise or social business is defined as a business with specific social objectives that serve its primary purpose. Social enterprises seek to maximize profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment, and the profits are principally used to fund social programs.

We chose a social enterprise model because we feel it is the best way to create sustainable change by harnessing the power of business and entrepreneurship as a force for good in the world.

What countries do you operate in?
We currently operate in the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, and Egypt, with licensed partner-based expansion underway in Southeast Asia and Africa.

How do you choose which countries to expand into?
Plastic Bank operates in countries with high rates of plastic pollution and poverty. Most of such countries lack proper waste management infrastructure and have a greater dependency on single-use packaging for clean and sterile goods. This results in a disproportionate amount of plastic pollution. We continuously aim to close the distance between our partners and their Social Plastic® supply chains with each new expansion.

Does Plastic Bank collect marine litter for recycling?
Our purpose and core focus is stopping ocean-bound plastic. We believe that plastic shouldn’t flow into the ocean to start with. Before we can effectively clean plastic debris from the ocean, we must turn off the tap to single-use plastic before it enters the ocean in the first place.

Explain the work you do and what communities benefit?
Plastic Bank identifies vulnerable coastlines across the world that need plastic collection infrastructure, empowers local entrepreneurs to establish collection branches in convenient locations, helps gather collection communities together and stops plastic before it enters the ocean. Collected plastic exchanged at the branch offers income and life-improving benefits to community members that help them transcend poverty. These include access to benefits like health, work and life insurance, digital connectivity and fintech services. Collection members and collection branches are registered through the PlasticBank® app that records every transaction, enables traceable collection, secures income, and verifies reporting.

Why are you called a bank?
We reveal the true economic value of plastic, making it valuable to not be left in the environment. In doing so, we’ve created a system for plastic exchange similar to any other currency exchange. Our PlasticBank® app uses fintech and blockchain technology to securely execute plastic transactions. The app’s digital wallet is often the first savings account that our members own. For those reasons, we call ourselves Plastic Bank.

What do you do with the plastic after it’s collected?
The plastic collected through our collection communities is delivered to our processing partners for reprocessing into Social Plastic® feedstock and reintegrated into products and packaging by partner organizations and brands.

How much plastic has Plastic Bank stopped from entering the ocean?
The most up-to-date figures can be found at

How can I bring Plastic Bank to my country?
Visit the Contact Us page and select “Help to Bring Plastic Bank to My Country”. You can also become a Human of Social Recycling by signing up for our newsletter to be the first to know when new initiatives are launched.

How can I engage my school or place of worship to become Humans of Social Recycling?
Through our Community Partnership Program, we collaborate with schools, places of worship, establishments, and institutions to spread awareness about plastic pollution and the Plastic Bank solution. We set up accessible recycling where communities can bring plastic from their homes in exchange for benefits that help launch social service programs for the community. Contact Us if your school or congregation is interested in partnering with us.

What is a plastic footprint? How do I calculate it?
A plastic footprint is the amount of plastic an individual, business, workforce or family uses and disposes in a specific period of time.  The average plastic footprint of an individual is about 84 kilograms each year. Check out our Plastic Footprint Calculator to find out just how much you use and dispose of, then take steps to reduce your footprint through small changes that can make a big impact.

How can I reduce my Plastic Footprint and contribute to the regenerative society?
Plastic Bank is empowering the Social Recycling movement for humanity to stop ocean plastic and use it for creating social, environmental, and economic impact. The first step is to start where you are with what you have.

Here are some recommendations to get you started:

  • Find out how much plastic you consume through our Plastic Footprint Calculator, then take steps to reduce your footprint. Begin with small changes that can make a big impact.
  • Avoid single-use plastic. Choose reusable containers and bottles instead.
  • Buy groceries in bulk to reduce plastic packaging waste.
  • Talk to your local grocers and look for products that are helping to restore the damage that’s been done to our environment.
  • Join the Social Recycling movement. Check out our Partnership Programs to find out how you can get involved.

Can Plastic Bank share some general sustainability facts we can leverage?
Check out the Plastic Bank blog to learn more about plastic pollution, poverty, and how humanity can overcome both.