This data is live from our blockchain-secured Alchemy Platform

Data last verified on Alchemy™: Wednesday, 05/24/2023

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 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.

Ethical Collection Communities

Who are the collection community members?

An Ocean Steward who is over 18 years of age, registers through the PlasticBank app, collects ocean-bound plastic and exchanges it at a Plastic Bank collection branch is a collection community member. There are different kinds of collection community members. Some are full-time plastic collectors working in informal waste collection for many years. 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 secure income and life-improving benefits at their local 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 certify local collection branches and processors for our ethical code of conduct, enable traceability and acquaint them with PlasticBank® app usage requirements. This way, we are able to deliver additional value into our collection communities, increase the reward and benefit for existing members and attract new participants.

In addition to establishing collection branches, we partner with local community centres, schools and places of worship to make recycling more accessible, raise awareness about plastic pollution and the Plastic Bank solution, and encourage proper waste segregation in households. Learn more about our Community Partnership Programs.

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?

In order to never exclude the most vulnerable, Plastic Bank is able to include 18+ age-verified members through a multi-tiered membership system. Our collection branches initiate every exchange in their app and have the ability to register new members who do not own a smartphone. Non-app users are able to redeem their collection benefits at special redemption locations and often through automatic end-of-month redemption disbursement services offered by Plastic Bank. It’s our long-term goal to empower all of our members to easily earn their way to digital connectivity through their first smartphone. 

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 outside the Plastic Bank network
How do you ensure that you are not employing child labour?

Plastic Bank enables an 18+ age-verified gig economy style service. Our in-country staff offers operational support, auditing, and empowerment services but do not directly participate in or run our collection programs. We empower local entrepreneurs and community members to play their part within our code of conduct requirements.

Labour Practices

  • Collection branches and processors must;
    • complete Plastic Bank’s code of conduct training program
    • 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 account creation by certified 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

    • Compliance managers are staffed in each country 
    • Plastic Bank staff conducts periodic audits with routines varying from daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to annual audits using Alchemy according to our Traceability Standards
    • Each branch has an assigned account manager 
    • A cross-function 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 and reward programs. For that, they must meet our qualification requirements and successfully pass our onboarding training process. We typically invite all collection locations 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 prosper in an ethical recycling community, while adhering to the required operational procedures and the Plastic Bank code of conduct.

We have online applications available for any business that would like to proactively apply for new opportunities.

What are collection bonuses and benefits?

Registered 18+ age verified collection members and code of conduct certified branches, in participating 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 incentives for our ethical and traceable 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 members and collection branch operators can be eligible to receive additional member benefits including training, access to education, subsidized supplies and necessities, fintech services, various insurance programs and other life-improving benefits.

What are the statistics for compensation for the collection community members?

Our full-time collection community members can increase their earnings by up to 33% compared to other local full-time collection members outside of our programs. This does not include the added value from our additional non-monetary member benefits. In May 2022 Plastic Bank conducted an earnings data audit and determined that the average full time collection member 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. Our average full time collection members recycle approximately 689 kg per month, which is the equivalent of 34,450 plastic bottles.