Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Plastic Bank.
About Plastic Bank
We exist to stop plastic before it enters the ocean.
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.
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.
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.
We currently operate in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines, with franchise-based expansion in Cameroon and Thailand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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 and choose reusable containers and bottles instead. Buying groceries in bulk is also another way to reduce plastic consumption.
- 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.
- Every year, 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flows into the ocean. This could triple by 2040¹.
- A garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute around the world².
- World plastic production has doubled over the past 50 years¹.
- By 2050 there is projected to be more plastic in the ocean than fish².
- 73% of global consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits in order to reduce their footprint³.
- When a brand has a strong purpose, consumers are 4x more likely to purchase it⁴.