This data is live from Alchemy

Our proprietary blockchain-secured platform

Data last verified: Friday, 02/23/2024

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.

Collection Communities

Who are the collection community members?
An individual who is over 18 years of age, is registered through the PlasticBank® app and helps collect ocean-bound plastic is a collection community member. These include registered members, collection aggregators, and collection branch/point owners. Some are full-time plastic members working in informal waste collection for many years, while others work with us on a part-time basis to supplement other sources of income. Regardless of how much or how often our collection community members collect plastic, age-verified collection members can exchange plastic for additional income and life-improving benefits at their local collection branch.

How does Plastic Bank find its collection community members?
Plastic Bank begins working in any new territory with the existing informal recycling communities, wherever possible. We train and certify local collection communities (collection community members and collection branches alike) for compliance with our code of conduct and acquaint them with PlasticBank® app usage requirements to enable traceability. We incentivize collection benefits for existing members and attract new participants.

We also establish Community Partnerships with local schools, places of worship, establishments, and institutions to set up accessible collection branches. We raise awareness about the Social Recycling movement and encourage proper waste segregation in households to reduce plastic pollution.

How can a person become a collection community member?
Collection community members must be 18+ years of age and registered in the PlasticBank® app. Any registered individual can sign into the PlasticBank® app to find the nearest local collection branch for exchanging ocean-bound plastic.

Can a person become a member without creating an account in the PlasticBank® App?
Plastic Bank membership is open to any 18+ age-verified individual who wants to collect and exchange ocean-bound plastic in its areas of operation. Our collection branches initiate every exchange in the PlasticBank® app and can register new members who do not own a smartphone. Registrations are subject to verification.

Non-app users are able to redeem their collection benefits through Plastic Bank’s automatic end-of-month redemption disbursement services, or at special redemption locations. Members are also offered digital connectivity through subsidized smartphones at participating locations.

Our app allows members to:

  • find the nearest collection branch to exchange collected plastic
  • access their secured digital wallet
  • view exchange and earnings history
  • connect their Plastic Bank savings wallet to a local digital payment / bank account for local usage

How do you ensure that you are not employing child labour?
Plastic Bank membership is open to any 18+ age-verified individual who wants to collect and exchange ocean-bound plastic in its areas of operation. Approval of member registrations is subject to verification.


Labour Practices

  • Collection branches and processing partners must;
    • complete Plastic Bank’s standard training program (code of conduct, health & safety and collections standard, traceability and the PlasticBank app usage),
    • have a signed code of conduct agreement uploaded into Alchemy,
    • pass routine compliance audits by Plastic Bank.

18+ Age verification

  • Age is verified to be 18+ upon registration by certified Plastic Bank collection branches,
  • Age is re-verified to be 18+ by Plastic Bank upon redeeming rewards and benefits,
  • Profile photo verification audits are conducted annually,
  • Site visits are performed to ensure compliance to our code of conduct,
  • Alchemy automatically prevents paid exchanges from users under 18 years of age,
  • Branches are removed if they fail our code of conduct requirements.

Plastic Bank Staff Auditing Responsibilities

  • Data managers are staffed regionally,
  • Plastic Bank Data Managers conduct periodic audits according to our traceability standards, with routines varying from daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to annual audits using Alchemy,
  • Each branch has an assigned account manager (Area Coordinator),
  • A cross-functional global task force coordinates annual onsite partner audits,
  • Alchemy continues to evolve and automate our auditing and compliance process.

Please find answers about our Child Labour Policy here.

How can an informal recycling business become a Plastic Bank collection branch?
Local collection businesses can apply through our regional offices to become certified Plastic Bank collection branches, which makes them eligible to participate in our collection, bonus and benefit programs. For that, they must meet our accreditation requirements and successfully pass our onboarding process. We typically invite all collection businesses within a reasonable range of our existing supply chain partners to apply and participate in our programs. This inclusive model makes it safe for everyone to collectively prosper in a recycling community, while adhering to our required operational procedures and code of conduct.

Businesses can also apply online to proactively pursue new opportunities.

What are collection bonuses and benefits?
Registered 18+ age verified collection members and certified collection branches that participate in bonus programs receive a digital bonus payment on top of the cash market rate for bonus-eligible plastic. These bonuses provide increased incomes, digital savings, and benefits with traceability for our supply chain compliance requirements. The bonuses are paid in digital tokens and funded by partner orders through Alchemy’s bonus payment and order management system.

In addition to financial incentives, collection communities can also be eligible to receive additional benefits including training, access to mentorship for enterprise/leadership development, subsidized education supplies and necessities, fintech services, insurance programs and other life-improving benefits, based on tiered collection goals.

Does Plastic Bank pay a salary to its collection community members?
Plastic Bank does not pay a salary to its members. They receive the local market rate for plastic by material type in cash from the buyer of the materials (collection branches). In addition to the standard market rate payment system, Plastic Bank uses a digital payment system to provide bonuses on eligible material collections above their market rate. The bonuses are paid directly to the members’ wallets in the PlasticBank® app through Plastic Bank tokens.

What are the statistics for compensation for the collection community members?
In May 2022, Plastic Bank conducted an earnings data audit and determined that a collection member working full-time earned a monthly USD equivalent average of $274.77 in Brazil, $338.57 in Egypt, $250.70 in Indonesia, and $182.14 in the Philippines. This does not include the added value from our additional non-monetary benefits that members can also avail. Our collection members working full-time recycle approximately 689 kg per month on an average, which is the equivalent of 34,450 plastic bottles. This increases the earnings of registered Plastic Bank collection community members by up to 33%, compared to those who are not registered with Plastic Bank and work full-time in the informal recycling sector.