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.

Social Plastic ®

 
What makes Social Plastic® different from recycled plastic?

All Social Plastic® is recycled plastic, but not all recycled plastic is Social Plastic®. The purchase of Social Plastic® helps vulnerable coastal communities transcend poverty by stopping ocean plastic and improves lives while creating environmental, social and economic impact. 

What types of Social Plastic® are available to manufacturers?

Currently, Social Plastic® is available in four types:

  • HDPE (mostly used in containers for food, shampoos and detergents)
  • LDPE (mostly used in shopping bags and bubble wraps)
  • PET (mostly used in beverage containers)
  • PP (mostly used in battery casings and dairy product containers)
How is the collected plastic processed?

We have multiple processing partners in each country we operate. Plastic is processed in-country to ensure that its value is maximally retained within the local economy.  Our team carefully inspects and certifies all collection branches and processing partners to ensure that quality, labour, safety, and environmental standards are maintained.

What happens to plastic after it is collected at a Plastic Bank collection branch?

After collection, the plastic is recycled and processed into a new raw material called Social Plastic® feedstock which can be purchased by manufacturers to ethically produce more environment-friendly and socially beneficial products. Plastic that does not get licensed as Social Plastic is sold as commodity plastic to ensure ongoing recycling flows are maintained at all times. This completes the loop - creating a sustainable, circular economy for plastic. To learn more about our circular economy for recycled plastic, see our About page.

How much of the collected material is processed, sold and eventually used in products? What happens with potentially non-reusable material?

Training is conducted for our collection community members to teach them what types of materials are acceptable to sell to our collection branches. 

Our collection branches only buy and sell pre-sorted materials with a local resale value for further processing. Everything collected in our collection communities is delivered to processing partners who reprocess the materials for reintegration into new products and packaging. 

The materials we are unable to sell as Social Plastic® are still resold by our local partners as commodity recycled plastic. Our Impact Programs help build new supply chains that are pre-qualifying for ongoing, self-sustaining Social Plastic® orders. This combination allows us to consistently support plastic collection in vulnerable coastal communities while offering life-improving benefits to our collection members.