Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Plastic Bank.
About our policies and where to find them
Plastic Bank believes in making every place where we operate better, because we have been there. Wherever we operate, we are committed to respecting people and supporting universal human rights, adhering to local laws and regulations, contributing positively to our communities, and minimizing our impact on the environment.
Please find our code of conduct here
“The only place children should have to work, is in their classroom” – David Katz, Founder
Children have a right to develop free of burden, suffering, despair, longing or servitude. Our human duty is to create an environment where children can be present, conscious and open to creating possibilities for themselves, their families, their communities and the world.
The foundation of The Plastic Bank’s ‘No Child Labour Policy’ is based on the Company’s commitment to practical, meaningful and culturally appropriate responses to support the elimination of child labour practices.
Child labour, as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention, is “work by children under the age of 12; work by children under the age of 15 that prevents school attendance; and work by children under of age of 18 that is hazardous to the physical or mental health of the child.
The Plastic Bank WILL NEVER employ any person below the age of eighteen years at the workplace. The Plastic Bank prohibits and opposes any use of child labour and forced or compulsory labour along its entire value chain. No employee will ever work against his/her will or work as bonded/forced labour, or subject to corporal punishment or coercion of any type related to work.
- WE WILL NEVER employ children that fall into the definition as stipulated by the ILO Convention, notwithstanding any national law or local regulation;
- WE WILL ALWAYS comply with all other applicable child labour laws, including those related to wages, hours worked, overtime and working conditions;
- WE WILL ALWAYS be against all forms of exploitation of children. The company does not provide employment to children before they have reached the legal age to have completed their compulsory education, as defined by the relevant authorities;
- WE WILL ALWAYS demand business partners and associates to have and uphold similar standards and abide by country-governing laws in countries wherein they operate.
Child labour persists even though laws and standards to eliminate it exists. Current causes of global child labour include poverty, limited access to education, repression of workers’ rights, and limited prohibitions on child labour.
- Poverty and unemployment levels are high. Poor children and their families may rely upon child labour in order to improve their chances of obtaining basic necessities. More than one-fourth of the world's population live in extreme poverty, according to 2005 U.N. statistics. Intensified poverty causes many children to become child labourers.
- Access to compulsory, free education is limited. In 2006, approximately 75 million children were not in school, limiting future opportunities for the children and their communities. A 2009 report by the United Nations estimated that achieving universal education for the world's children would cost $10-30 billion.
- Existing laws or codes of conduct are often violated. Even when laws or codes of conduct exist, they are often violated. For example, the manufacture and export of products often involves multiple layers of production and outsourcing, which can make it difficult to monitor who is performing labour at each step of the process. Extensive subcontracting can intentionally or unintentionally hide the use of child labour.
- Laws and enforcement are often inadequate. Child labour laws around the world are often not enforced or include exemptions that allow for child labour to persist in certain sectors, such as agriculture or domestic work. Even in countries where strong child labour laws exist, labour departments and labour inspection offices are often underfunded and under-staffed, or courts may fail to enforce the laws. Similarly, many state governments allocate few resources to enforcing child labour laws.
This policy is publicly available throughout the Company and clearly communicated to all employees in a manner in which it can be understood through induction programs and policy manuals. The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of the country’s team, who do not permit minors to enter the premises like collection points as workers. There is a zero-tolerance policy towards its breach. Employment contracts and other records, documenting all relevant details of the employees, including age, are maintained at all units and are open to verification by any authorized personnel or relevant statutory body. Suppliers are obliged to take the appropriate measures to ensure that no child labour occurs at suppliers’ and their subcontractors’ places of production.
If child labour is found in any place of production, The Plastic Bank will require the supplier to implement a corrective action plan. If corrective action is not implemented within the agreed time-frame, or if repeated violations occur, The Plastic Bank will terminate all business with the supplier concerned. The corrective action plan shall take the child’s best interests into consideration, i.e. family and social situation and level of education. Care shall be taken not merely to move child labor from one supplier’s workplace to another, but to enable more viable and sustainable alternatives for the child’s development.
Periodic assessment is conducted. The Country manager or assigned staff undertake random checks of records annually.
If child labour is found in the supply chains of The Plastic Bank, it will seek to work in partnership with the supplier and appropriately qualified organizations to develop a responsible solution that is in the best long-term interests of the children.
The supplier and The Plastic Bank will agree to a corrective action plan, which may comprise the following actions:
- Collate a list of all potential child labourers and young workers.
- Seek advice and help from a recognized local non-governmental organization that deals with child labour or the welfare of children.
- Develop a remediation plan that secures the children’s education and protects their economic well-being, in consultation with The Plastic Bank and, where possible, a local NGO, and in consultation with and respecting the views of the child.
- Explain the legal requirements and restrictions on working ages to the children and assure them that, if they wish, they will be employed when they reach working age.
- Understand the children’s desires and explore the opportunities for them to re-enter education.
- Whether the child contributes to the livelihoods of their family or they are self-dependent, his or her wage should continue to be paid until they reach working age, or until an alternative long-term solution has been agreed with the child and their family (for example, employment of an unemployed adult family member in place of the child labourer).
- Ensure that the child worker has adequate accommodation and living conditions.
- Document all actions.
- Develop processes to prevent recurrence.
- Immediately expel any of the suspected or confirmed child labourers and/or young workers.
- Threaten the children or their families or hamper the progress of investigation and remediation.
- Conceal or falsify any documentation.
Such actions will be considered by The Plastic Bank as evidence that the supplier is not committed to child labour remediation, in breach of this Child Labour Policy.
As a processing partner from Plastic Bank - involved in the conversion of collected plastic into new recycled flakes or pellets - you formally commit to the prevention of child labor in all your activities. As such you will strictly follow the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the U.N Convention on the Rights of the Child guide as your policy on child labor.
When it comes to legal aspects, you will commit to always following the stricter law if more than one laws apply (e.g. state and federal, local and international) in our countries of operation. You will also require your own suppliers, partners and vendors to follow the stricter applicable laws and recognize children’s rights. You will formally commit to never used forced labor or human trafficking in any form - prison, slavery, indentured, bonded or otherwise.