Seeing Ocean Plastic as Money

We all witness numerous ‘campaigns’ that raise awareness for Ocean plastic. We gather thousands of volunteers to perform beach clean-ups. We have endless conversations around the atrocious impact of Ocean plastic on our planet. While such actions are important for the recognition of this global issue, beach clean-ups and ocean trawls do not alleviate the 8 million metric tonnes of plastic entering our oceans each year. Addressing the symptoms is not enough.

The Plastic Bank is the root cause solution to prevent the flow of Ocean plastic into our oceans, all while improving lives of the world’s poor.

So, How Do We Do It?

The Plastic Bank has realized that the only way to stop Ocean plastic is to change the perception of the plastic waste itself.

80% of the plastic ends up on the beaches of some of the world’s poorest countries. Now, imagine you are walking down a beach and you constantly step over bars of gold. You see gold everywhere. You want to bend over and pick up the gold, however, there is no bank you can take the gold to, there is no store to spend it at, there is no ability for anyone to exchange anything with you for the gold. Do you pick it up?

We come to a simple realization that the bottle is not the issue, it’s the value we perceive the bottle to be. When you give people a knowing that the petroleum resource is education, health care, cooking oil, a means to reduced levels of preventable death, it becomes very powerful. All of a sudden, you have a new desire to pick up the so-called “waste”.

The Plastic Bank establishes “convenience stores”, in countries with no formal recycling ecosystems, which accept plastic waste as currency, turning the product into Social Plastic®. Social Plastic® is Plastic Bank verified plastic that provides a premium for collectors in developing countries. The premiums are called Plastic Bank Rewards. These rewards are distributed and authenticated through the Plastic Bank app, which uses Blockchain technology to provide the safest and most trusted means to deliver a globally scalable social impact. All of the plastic collected is then sorted, recycled, and sold to some of the world’s largest companies to use in their manufacturing instead of new plastics. With every single piece of plastic ever made still exist today, our world does not need more new plastic.

In July 2017 The Plastic Bank introduced the concept of plastic off-sets. This allows individuals, companies and products to have the ability to become plastic neutral by offsetting their own plastic footprint. This summer, Shell Oil produced a reusable drivers water bottle that came with a commitment to stop 1 Million kg of Ocean-bound plastic from entering the Ocean through The Plastic Bank. Some of the largest companies on the planet have now committed to using Social Plastic. By the end of this year The Plastic Bank will be publicly announcing a number of new partnerships with billion dollar companies looking to make both an environmental and social impact.

Why Should Brands Care?

The millennials are the most sustainability-conscious generation. Studies show that 90% of millennials would like to see more of the products they use support social & environmental issues, 87% are more willing to purchase a product with a social or environmental benefit and 66% are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. Multinationals can leverage the brand equity of Social Plastic® to connect with the most sustainability-conscious generation.

What Role Do We, As Consumers, Play?

Social Plastic® is a conduit for consumers to prevent ocean plastic and create social change. Conscious consumers use their purchasing power by asking brands to support The Plastic Bank and Social Plastic®. With the help of our existing 1 million supporters, our goal is to gather a billion people toward a worldwide demand for the use of Social Plastic in everyday products. The higher the worldwide demand becomes, the higher the reward will be for harvesting social plastic, which all in turn, keeps our beautiful oceans clean and reduces world poverty.

Please join me on stage, October 31st at SB’17 Copenhagen, for a stimulating conversation on how we can reveal “Ocean Plastic as Money” and start creating a world-wide impact.


David Katz
Founder & CEO
The Plastic Bank
October 23, 2017

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  1. Brenda Patrick says:

    I am glad to see some big-name companies on the list of supporters. The companies that provide this waste need to be accountable for their packaging. You need to find a way to make that happen. We, as consumers also need to have responsibility, but in truth, there is very little that comes in a plastic wrap that we cannot live without. It is only convenience, personal taste, and big money with marketing that enables the plastic waste to reach the oceans.
    If you were to fine companies for plastic waste by weight, they will just find way to make it harder to retrieve. So, how can these companies be accountable for the waste not only that they produce, but for what they have produced. I might start with looking into what was being discussed when McDonalds became big. There was a lot of discussion around seeing their marketing strewn about everywhere. There may be a good lead to follow on.

  2. Brenda Patrick says:

    How much does it cost to set up and operate a recycle plant in the countries you are setting up in? Can the peices of garbage be identified or traced to a producer? Each producer should be paying to assist with set up and for a percentage of the money paid for the material brought in for recycle. The plants could be run by volunteer people as a tourism incentive. This tourism will also bring money to the poor communities. You would need to regulate this to prevent the predators from taking part.

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