Prohibited Items Policy
Plastic Bank is are not a curated marketplace. However, for a variety of reasons, we prohibit certain types of items from the Plastic Bank ecosystem. Some items present legal risks to our community; others are inconsistent with our values, are harmful to our members, or simply are not in the spirit of Plastic Bank. This policy explains what is prohibited or restricted on Plastic Bank.
The following types of items are prohibited or restricted on PlasticBank.com, SocialPlastic.org and our mobile application, which we collectively refer to in this policy as ‘Plastic Bank’:
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia, and Medical Drugs
- Animal Products and Human Remains
- Dangerous Items: Hazardous Materials, Recalled Items and Weapons
- Hate Items: Items that Promote, Support or Glorify Hatred
- Illegal Items, Items Promoting Illegal Activity and Highly Regulated Items
- Internationally Regulated Items
- Pornography and Mature Content
- Violent Items: Items that Promote, Support or Glorify Violence
Policy decisions are complex. We consider many different and often divergent factors before coming to a decision about what is best for our community. Because we are a creative community, we err on the side of freedom of expression. We also tend to allow items that have educational, historical or artistic value, but we know that even those items are subject to a variety of valid and sometimes conflicting interpretations and emotional responses.
Art and history can be provocative, emotional and divisive. There are some topics on which we may never reach a consensus as a community, and that is okay. In the words of Joyce Carol Oates, ‘art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.’
In order to help provide clarity and insight into our policy making process, we have included the rationale behind our decisions and details about how they will be enforced, including some representative examples below of what is allowed on Plastic Bank.
1. Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia, and Medical Drugs
Alcohol and drugs are prohibited on Plastic Bank. These substances face serious legal restrictions and in many cases are considered controlled substances under applicable law. Our policy also applies to other substances that have or are claimed to have an intoxicating or healing effect. Possible legal restrictions aside, these substances simply are not in the spirit of Plastic Bank and we therefore do not allow them.
The following are examples of items that may not be sold on Plastic Bank:
- Tobacco products, smokeable products, e-cigarettes and e-liquid.
- Drugs and certain herbal substances, including substances used for recreational and medicinal purposes, regardless of their legality.
- Drug paraphernalia, including, for example: items with a carburetor; slides and/or items with a slide; bongs and bubblers; vaporisers and their components.
- Medical drugs and pharmaceuticals.
Restrictions on descriptions of purported health benefits:
A medical drug claim is any element of a listing or shop that suggests an item prevents, heals, or treats a medical condition or disease. Medical drug claims are subject to varying degrees of regulation. If you make claims about the purported health benefits of an item for sale on Plastic Bank, we urge you to speak with a qualified expert about which regulations apply to you. It is your responsibility to know and comply with all laws and regulations that apply to the items you sell.
Plastic Bank prohibits certain medical drug claims based on our values, such as claims likely to deceive or pose an unreasonable risk to our community. Plastic Bank may remove claims that we deem to be inappropriate, excessive, or otherwise unsuitable for our marketplace. If Plastic Bank receives proper notice from a legal authority, we may remove an item.
2. Animal Products and Human Remains
Certain animal products are highly regulated and not in the spirit of Etsy due to the risk of harm to live, companion or endangered animals.
The following are examples of animal products that may not be sold on Plastic Bank:
- Live animals.
- Items created using any animal species designated as threatened or endangered by the US Endangered Species Act or listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
- Items made from cat and dog parts or pelts as defined by US Federal Law.
- Ivory or bones from ivory-producing animals, including tusks, elk ivory, fossilized ivory and wooly mammoth ivory.
- Items made from human remains, except for teeth and hair.
We expect all of our members to follow their local laws. If you are shipping items across international borders you should also consult CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) for specific information about importing and exporting items that may be threatened due to the nature of this trade. If you sell products containing feathers, you should also consult the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
3. Dangerous Items: Hazardous Materials, Recalled Items and Weapons
For safety reasons and due to complex legal regulations surrounding certain items, we ask that our members not sell items that could be considered dangerous.
Due to the potential harm caused by hazardous materials, as well as complex legal regulations surrounding such materials, including shipping restrictions, hazardous materials are prohibited on Plastic Bank.
While not exhaustive, the following materials are examples of prohibited hazardous materials:
- Explosives (fireworks or sparklers)
- Flammable items
- Radioactive material
- Toxic substances (such as poisons)
Recalled Items or Items that Present Unreasonable Risk of Harm
Items that have been recalled by governments or manufacturers are prohibited from being sold on Plastic Bank. A few examples of items that have been recalled are certain vintage Corning Ware percolators, lawn darts and drop side cribs.
Items that present an unreasonable risk of harm are prohibited, even if they have not been the subject of a recall. This would include, for example, items that present a choking hazard. We generally rely on information from various government agencies to identify these items.
Context matters when it comes to defining what is or is not a weapon. When in doubt, it’s safe to assume that we won’t allow any tool or instrument that is intended to be used as a weapon to inflict harm on a person. The following items are generally not allowed on Plastic Bank:
- Guns, knives or other blatant weapons (even if they are vintage)
- Imitation weapons that look real or are prohibited by US law
- Hate Items: Items that Promote, Support or Glorify Hatred
We want Plastic Bank to be a community where people of all backgrounds, nationalities, religions, political affiliations and even different types of artistic taste and humour feel welcome. Art is incredibly subjective, and what is offensive to one is not necessarily offensive to others.
Plastic Bank does not allow items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred towards people or otherwise demean people based upon: race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation (collectively, “protected groups”) or items or content that promote organisations or people with such views.
The following items are not allowed on Plastic Bank:
(A) Items that support or commemorate current or historical hate groups, including propaganda or collectibles. Examples of hate groups include Nazi or Neo-Nazi groups, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups, white supremacist groups, misogynist groups or groups that advocate an anti-gay, anti-immigrant or Holocaust denial agenda.
(B) Items that contain racial slurs or derogatory terms in reference to protected groups.
5. Illegal Items, Items Promoting Illegal Activity and Highly Regulated Items
We respect the law and expect Plastic Bank sellers to respect the law as well.
Illegal items and items that promote illegal activity, including counterfeit or stolen items, are generally not allowed on Plastic Bank. Neither are certain items that are subject to complex legal regulations or registration systems. Because Plastic Bank is a global company, it’s important to abide by the laws of the markets in which you are selling. What is legal in one country may be illegal in another. All forms of illegal activity are strictly prohibited. In addition, listings may not facilitate or promote illegal acts through images or descriptions.
Additionally, due to complex legal restrictions that vary by location, Plastic Bank does not permit the sale of real estate or motor vehicles (for example: automobiles, motorcycles, boats, travel trailers, etc.).
We require sellers to follow all applicable laws for the items they list. Examples of items which may be subject to regulation include Native American crafts, plants and seeds and food products.
6. Internationally Regulated Items
Plastic Bank provides a direct connection between buyers and sellers around the world. If you buy or sell an item from another country, or if you enter into a transaction with someone across international borders, you are responsible for complying with laws and regulations of the country of destination as well as your local laws.
When buying and selling internationally, you should comply with your local laws and also be aware that other countries may have their own set of restrictions. You might be prohibited from exporting or importing certain items under laws and regulations of the country of destination. The item you buy or sell may be subject to import taxes, customs duties, fees, and/or other regulations imposed by the country of destination.
When you use Plastic Bank’s services, you are also responsible for complying with economic sanctions and trade restrictions, including those implemented by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the US Department of the Treasury. All Plastic Bank members must comply with our Sanctions Policy, regardless of their location.
Plastic Bank reserves the right to request that sellers provide additional information, disclose an item’s country of origin in a listing, or take other steps to meet compliance obligations.
You should be aware that third-party payment processors may independently monitor transactions for sanctions compliance and may block some transactions as part of their own compliance programmes. Plastic Bank has no authority or control over the independent decision-making of these providers.
7. Pornography and Mature Content
As a creative community, we tend to be fairly liberal about what we allow on Plastic Bank, but we draw the line at pornography. Beyond that, we restrict mature content so that people who are offended by this kind of material don’t have to see it. If you are selling mature content, we ask that you understand that there are differing sensibilities around the world and that you try to be respectful.
Pornography of any sort is prohibited on Plastic Bank, whereas mature content is restricted.
Although pornography can be difficult to define, an item generally qualifies as pornography when it is a particularly extreme or explicit version of mature content.
We define mature content as depictions of male or female genitalia, sexual activity or content, profane language, violent images (within reason; see also Violent Items) and explicit types or representations of taxidermy.
Mature content must be properly listed and tagged as such. Not all nudity is considered mature, and examples of non-mature nudity are listed below. If you find yourself questioning whether your item is mature, then it is likely a good idea to assume that it is mature content, and you should label it as such.
When deciding whether mature content crosses over the threshold into pornography, we take into consideration how realistically mature image or images are portrayed, and the explicitness of depictions of sexual activity or content.
8. Violent Items: Items that Promote, Support or Glorify Violence
We want Plastic Bank to be a safe place for everyone. While violent content can be a legitimate part of historical, educational or artistic expression, it should never be used to promote or glorify violent acts against others.
We do not allow items or listings that promote, support or glorify acts of violence or harm towards self or others, including credible threats of harm or violence towards self or others.
The following items are not allowed on Plastic Bank:
- Items that glorify human suffering or tragedies, including items that commemorate or honor serial killers
- Items that attempt to exploit natural disasters or human tragedies
- Items that encourage, glorify, or celebrate acts of violence against individuals or groups
- Items that encourage self-mutilation, starvation or other self-harm
We hope these guidelines are helpful, but we cannot catalog every permitted or prohibited item. We reserve the right to remove listings that we determine are not within the spirit of Plastic Bank. Such listings will be removed from the site, and the member’s selling privileges may be suspended and/or terminated.
If you see something on Plastic Bank that appears to violate these rules, you can report it to us using the feedback form. To report copyright or intellectual property infringement, please follow the instructions in Plastic Bank’s Intellectual Property Policy.
For all other reports, or for any questions, please [email protected]