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Protecting the health and well-being of our most vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19, emergencies, and disasters.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

About Social Plastic

More information about our plastic and operations

What is Social Plastic?

Social Plastic is defined as ethically recovered plastic that fights ocean plastic and extreme poverty by transferring its value to the people that engage with it. Social Plastic is produced from the Social Plastic Ecosystem through the collection and recycling of ocean-bound material. A third-party recycled plastic can be licensed as Social Plastic if its economic value is transferred to our members as a plastic collection incentive. What’s the difference between Social Plastic and recycled plastic? Social Plastic is recycled material with social impact: the production of Social Plastic helps both the environment and emerging economies. This is because, in addition to reducing ocean pollution, Social Plastic provides a social benefit: disadvantaged communities gain access to stable income and life necessities like food, water, and electricity become more accessible.

Companies can get involved by using Social Plastic, by making their products Plastic Positive, or by helping us activate ecosystems. We also offer employee engagement programs for Plastic Positive Workforce.

What types of Social Plastic are available for sale?
  • rHDPE (milk containers, detergent containers) 
  • rLDPE (plastic bags, bubble wrap) 
  • rPET (plastic beverage containers)
  • rPP (battery casings, dairy product containers)
How is the collected plastic processed?

We have multiple processing partners in each country where we operate. Plastic is processed in-country to ensure that as much value as possible is kept in the local community. Plastic Bank carefully scrutinizes all partners to ensure that labor, safety, and environmental standards are being met.

What happens to plastic after it is collected at a Plastic Bank branch?
  1. Waste plastic is gathered by our members and brought to Plastic Bank branches.
  2. Branch staff sort the plastic by type and colour.
  3. Members are paid by the weight and type of the plastic, then paid an additional Membership Bonus, which ensures a living wage is earned.
  4. Plastic is compressed by a machine into bales.
  5. Bales are transported to a partner processor and ‘flaked’ by a shredding machine, then hotwashed to get rid of contaminants, resulting in clean, thumbnail-size plastic flakes.
  6. Flakes are melted and then ‘pelletized,’ where a string-like flow of plastic is cut into tiny bits the size of small ball-bearings.
  7. Pellets are usually the preferred form of feedstock delivered to a manufacturer. Pellet form allows for more plastic per shipping container (higher density packing) and the most versatility in manufacturing processes
  8. Plastic Bank partners order Social Plastic® pellets to produce their product lines.

Our Programs

More info about our Partnership Programs

What does going Plastic Neutral mean?

Plastic Neutral is defined as a zero-sum plastic footprint, which is achieved by offsetting the volume of plastic consumed with an equal volume of plastic recycled. A company, business unit, product line, or individual can become Plastic Neutral by purchasing the required amount of Social Plastic Collection Credits (SPCC) from Plastic Bank. SPCCs fund recycling action in Social Plastic Ecosystems; each SPCC recovers 1 kilogram of ocean-bound plastic.

What are SPCCs?

When you go Plastic Positive, you invest in the purchase of Social Plastic Collection Credits (SPCC). Each SPCC guarantees the recovery of 1 kilogram of ocean-bound plastic.

SPCCs fund the payment of premiums to our members for the material collected, as well as the infrastructure needed to reintegrate that material into the supply chain. As part of our root-cause solution, SPCCs reduce plastic pollution and poverty by making recycling profitable for the world’s most underprivileged communities, giving them a path out of poverty.

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