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Plastic Bank collection members at Kedonganan Beach, Bali, Indonesia.Plastic Bank collection members at Kedonganan Beach, Bali, Indonesia.

In a world grappling with environmental and social challenges, we hold the power to be a force for good. Every small action we take can create a ripple effect of positive changes. It is in this spirit of empowerment and collective action that our Social Recycling movement has achieved milestones in 2022 toward our mission to stop ocean plastic and uplift communities in need.

“As I reflect on the work we accomplished in 2022, I am reminded of the power of boldness. Imagine if all 8 billion people on this planet stood up powerfully and purposefully for positive change. Our potential to create a sustainable future is limitless, but small thinking often keeps us in a place of limitation.” – Benjamin Lavoie, CEO, Plastic Bank.

Reflecting on what we accomplished in 2022, Ben reminds us of the power of boldness and envisions a world where everyone stands up for positive change. It is our daily choice to embody change, even in discomfort and uncertainty, that inspires our families, communities, and the world at large. When we gather together, these choices create a waterfall of pure heart, intention and change.

In our 2022 Sustainability Report, we invite you to explore the progress and impact of the Humans of Social Recycling, showcasing milestones, partnerships, and initiatives shaping our path towards sustainability. This report is not just a collection of facts and figures; it is a testament to the boundless potential of humanity to address pressing issues. It calls on each of us to reflect on our actions and discover how we can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world. Together, we can be the change we seek.

Collected plastic at Plastic Bank collection branchCollected plastic at Plastic Bank collection branch

Impact in action

With the support of Humans of Social Recycling around the world, we continuously collect and recycle ocean-bound plastic, reducing the amount of plastic waste ultimately reaching the ocean. 

Here are some key numbers that showcase our environmental achievements in 2022:

  • Total plastic waste collected: 29,996,345 kilograms
  • Equivalent bottles: 1,499,817,227 plastic bottles
  • Certified Processor Partners: 53
  • Collection Branches: 817

But our impact goes beyond numbers. Together, we have improved the lives of our collection community members. By turning plastic into currency, they become part of the formal recycling economy, gaining additional income and life-improving benefits while preventing plastic waste from polluting our oceans.

Let’s take a closer look at the social impact we have made in 2022: 

  • Active Collection Members: 21,791
  • Bonuses Paid: USD 2,181,671
  • Work Insurance: 2,539 people impacted
  • Health Insurance: 5,600 people impacted
  • Meal Vouchers: 2,896 people impacted
  • Connectivity: 496 mobile phones & data packages
  • School Programs: 851 children impacted

Partnerships driving change

Collaboration is key to creating true change. Our partnerships with industry leaders have amplified our impact. These businesses believe in the power of purpose, redefining profitability to include profit for our planet and humanity.

By investing in our Impact Program or using Social Plastic® feedstock in their manufacturing, our partners are supporting the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

1: No Poverty
8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
12: Responsible Consumption and Production
14: Life Below Water

Inclusive work culture

Our employees, who we call Bankers, are among the vital driving forces of our mission. We continue to nurture diversity and inclusion in the workplace, fostering a culture that inspires everyone to gather together and share their passion, expertise, and creativity for a better tomorrow.

In 2022, we enhanced employee benefits; implemented a new Human Resource Information System to streamline operations and ensure efficient management of employee data; and addressed inflation-related compensation concerns in key locations such as the Philippines, Egypt, and Indonesia. 

We strive to recruit, hire, and retain the best talent from around the world. Embracing differences in views, backgrounds, and experiences makes us stronger as Humans of Social Recycling. With a Senior Leadership Team comprising 56% male and 44% female members, we foster inclusive decision-making and value diverse perspectives.

Recognitions and commitments

In 2022, our commitment to sustainability has earned us several accolades and partnerships:

  • Ecovadis Silver Sustainability Rating – In recognition of our sustainable processes, we have been awarded the Silver rating for our Sustainability Management System. We have made significant improvements through 2022, according to EcoVadis’ globally recognized standard, upgrading our rating from Bronze in 2021.  
  • Social Impact Award – We have been named Social Impact Award Winner at the Reuters Events Responsible Business Awards 2022 for our efforts in addressing the plastic crisis at the root cause by attempting to prevent plastic from getting into the stream.

In addition, we are a Proud Supporter of the UN Global Compact, showing our commitment to the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment, and Anti-Corruption since 2017; and the Proud Signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and United Nations Environment Programme since 2018.

Humans of Social Recycling in BrazilHumans of Social Recycling in Brazil

Sustaining the momentum

We are deeply thankful for the journey we are on and we celebrate our communities, partners, supporters, processors, and employees – who stand with us as we enliven a wasteless world. But our work is far from over. There is still much more that needs to be done. Let us forge ahead knowing that our collective efforts will lead us to a world where our planet is free from plastic pollution and our communities thrive in sustainable environments.

Cheers to all the Humans of Social Recycling! Here’s to more impact, more progress, and more change in the years to come!

Click here to read our full 2022 Sustainability Report.

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2021 New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report featured image

2021 New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report

We've accomplished significant results toward our 2025 goal. For example, between January 2020 and December 2020, we prevented 510,350,100 single-use plastic bottles from entering the world's ocean - the equivalent of 10,207,002 kilograms prevented from entering the world's oceans.