This data is live from our blockchain-secured Alchemy Platform

Data last verified on Alchemy™: Friday, 02/03/2023

Ocean-bound plastic

Ocean-bound plastic has not yet found its way into the ocean. This represents plastic that is found on the ground within 50 kilometers of a waterway or coastal area, and is otherwise unlikely to be collected.

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)

Community Members

Individuals within a recycling community who collect plastic and deliver it to a collection point in exchange for collection benefits.

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™

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Plastic Bank.

About Plastic Bank 

 
What is Plastic Bank’s mission?

We exist to stop plastic before it enters the ocean.

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 the Plastic Bank headquarters located?

Our headquarters 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. 

What is a social enterprise?

As a social enterprise we are a mission driven company. A Social Enterprise is defined by Wikipedia as: “…an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders. …Social enterprises have both business goals and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their objective, which differentiates them from other organizations and corporations.”

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 Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines, with franchise-based expansion in Cameroon and Thailand.

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 on ocean-bound plastic: materials that have not been landfilled and are prone to entering our precious waterways. 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. 

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 collection branches offers life-improving benefits and ethical income to community members that help them transcend poverty. These include access to health, work and life insurance, digital connectivity and fintech services. Members are registered through the blockchain-secured PlasticBank® app that records every transaction, enables traceable collection, secures income, and verifies reporting.  

What do you do with the plastic after it's collected?

The plastic collected through our collection branches is delivered to our processing partners for reprocessing into  feedstock, which is reused in manufacturing products and packaging by the world’s most progressive companies. 

How can I bring Plastic Bank to my Country?

Visit the Contact Page and select “Help to Bring Plastic Bank to My Country”. You can also Become an Ocean Steward [link to newsletter] and be the first to know when new initiatives are launched.

How can I engage my school or place of worship to become Ocean Stewards?

Through our Community Partnership Programs, we collaborate with community centres, schools and places of worship 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 you contribute to plastic waste.  The average plastic footprint is about 84 kilograms each year. Check out our Plastic Footprint Calculator to find out just how much you consume, 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?

There are many ways you can become an Ocean Steward and help save the ocean. The first step is to start where you are with what you have. 

Here are some recommendations to get you started: 

  1. 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. 
  2. Avoid single-use plastic and choose reusable containers and bottles instead. Buying groceries in bulk is also another way to reduce plastic consumption. 
  3. 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 Plastic Bank 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?

 

  1. Every year, 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flows into the ocean. This could triple by 2040¹.
  2. ​​A garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute around the world². 
  3. World plastic production has doubled over the past 50 years¹. 
  4. By 2050 there is projected to be more plastic in the ocean than fish².
  5. 73% of global consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits in order to reduce their footprint³.
  6. When a brand has a strong purpose, consumers are 4x more likely to purchase it⁴.

 

  1. https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/03/1113142
  2. https://www.earthday.org/fact-sheet-plastics-in-the-ocean/
  3. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/01/davos-agenda-sustainability-digital-revolution/
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/afdhelaziz/2020/06/17/global-study-reveals-consumers-are-four-to-six-times-more-likely-to-purchase-protect-and-champion-purpose-driven-companies/?sh=521fdbc4435