Plastic Bank

A for-profit social enterprise founded and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, that builds recycling ecosystems in under-developed communities in an effort to fight both plastic pollution in oceans, as well as high poverty levels in developing countries
Summary

Plastic Bank is a for-profit social enterprise headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with a mission to combat plastic pollution in oceans while addressing poverty in underdeveloped communities. The company operates by creating recycling ecosystems in regions with high poverty levels. They enable individuals living in poverty to collect plastic waste and exchange it for essential items like school tuition, medical insurance, pharmaceuticals, internet access, and cooking fuel.

Plastic Bank's approach not only addresses environmental issues but also provides tangible benefits to disadvantaged communities. The collected plastics are reprocessed and reintroduced into the supply chain, contributing to a more sustainable and circular economy. Currently, Plastic Bank operates in several countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, and Egypt, with plans for expansion into Colombia and Vietnam in the near future. Their innovative model aims to create a positive impact on both the environment and the lives of people in need.


History

Plastic Bank's history is rooted in its founding vision to tackle two pressing global issues: plastic pollution in oceans and poverty in marginalized communities. The company was established as a for-profit social enterprise, with its headquarters located in Vancouver, Canada.

The concept behind Plastic Bank was to create recycling ecosystems in regions where poverty levels were high, which would not only address the environmental challenges posed by plastic waste but also provide a lifeline to individuals living in impoverished conditions. By incentivizing people to collect plastic waste, Plastic Bank offered a unique proposition - the opportunity to exchange the collected plastic for vital goods and services that could significantly improve their quality of life. These items included essentials like school tuition, medical insurance, pharmaceutical access, internet connectivity, and cooking fuel.

One of the core principles of Plastic Bank's approach is the reprocessing and reintroduction of collected plastics into the supply chain. This sustainable practice contributes to a circular economy, reducing the need for new plastic production and minimizing environmental harm.

Over the years, Plastic Bank has expanded its operations to several countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, and Egypt. Their presence in these regions has not only made a positive impact on local communities but also played a part in reducing plastic pollution in the oceans.

Looking ahead, Plastic Bank has ambitious plans for further expansion, with intentions to extend its operations into Colombia and Vietnam. Their innovative model continues to drive change, addressing both environmental and social issues simultaneously, with a focus on creating a brighter future for those in need and a cleaner planet for all.


Mission

Plastic Bank's mission is to provide innovative and impactful solutions to two critical global challenges: plastic pollution in our oceans and extreme poverty in underdeveloped communities. At the core of their mission lies a commitment to creating positive change on both environmental and social fronts.

Combatting Plastic Pollution: Plastic Bank is dedicated to reducing plastic pollution in oceans and waterways. They achieve this by establishing recycling ecosystems in areas affected by high levels of plastic waste. By incentivizing individuals to collect plastic, they prevent it from ending up in the ocean, where it poses a severe threat to marine life and ecosystems.

Addressing Poverty: Simultaneously, Plastic Bank is deeply committed to addressing poverty in underserved and marginalized communities. They empower people living in poverty to collect plastic waste and exchange it for essential goods and services. These rewards, including school tuition, medical insurance, pharmaceuticals, internet access, and cooking fuel, make a meaningful difference in the lives of those struggling with extreme economic hardship.

Circular Economy: An integral part of Plastic Bank's mission is promoting a circular economy. They reprocess the collected plastics, giving them a second life by reintroducing them into the supply chain. This approach reduces the need for new plastic production, conserving resources and mitigating the environmental impact of plastic waste.


Vision

Plastic Bank's vision is to create a world where plastic pollution is significantly reduced, and impoverished communities are lifted out of poverty through innovative recycling ecosystems. They aspire to build a more sustainable and equitable future, where plastic waste is transformed into valuable resources, benefiting both the environment and society.


Key Team

Plastic Waste Collection, Social Impact Programs (CEO )

Paul Howarth (CFO )

Steve Callahan (CHRO )

Priscila Freitas (CMO)

Stephane Bernard (CRO )


Products and Services

Plastic Bank offers a dual-service approach:

Plastic Waste Collection: Plastic Bank operates recycling ecosystems in impoverished communities, allowing individuals to collect plastic waste. This collected plastic serves as a valuable currency.

Social Impact Programs: In exchange for the plastic waste they collect, participants receive essential goods and services. These rewards include school tuition, medical insurance, pharmaceutical access, internet connectivity, and cooking fuel. Plastic Bank's social impact programs are designed to uplift people living in poverty.

In addition to these services, Plastic Bank reprocesses the collected plastics, contributing to a sustainable and circular economy by reintroducing them into the supply chain. This approach effectively addresses plastic pollution while simultaneously addressing social and economic challenges in underserved regions.


References
Plastic Bank
Leadership team

David Katz  (Founder)

Shaun Frankson (Founder)

Products/ Services
Plastic Waste Collection, Social Impact Programs
Established
2013
Company Type
Charitable or non-profit
Social Media
Sun Mar 03 2024
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