Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists, and most of it eventually ends up in our oceans. Imagine if we could collect the plastic devastating marine life and turn it into a currency that would ease poverty, clean up the environment, and pressure corporations to do the right thing?
It might sound strange, but this was the idea that caused two men to launch The Plastic Bank, which offers job opportunities for people in the developing world. Founder David Katz & Co-Founder Shaun Frankson believed that since plastic is a valuable resource, there must be a way to retain that- even after it ends up polluting the sea.
“Plastic is very valuable. Pound-for-pound it’s worth more than steel”, Katz points out. By launching the plan in countries with high waste and high poverty, they aim to clean up the environment and create regular incomes for poor communities at the same time. People can collect trash for money, but they also run the 3D Printers that recycle it (and can use these printers to recycle the trash they find into useful everyday objects). This year, the first ever products were made on 3D printers from ocean trash by Plastic Bank.
Plastic Bank pressure corporations to use their recycled plastic, which means producing less waste and giving the consumer more choice over theirs. This video looks at the highlights of Plastic Bank’s first 12 months. Since this film was shot, the project has launched in Peru and hope to take over the world very soon.
Here are some more great ideas that will help reduce the plastic in our oceans: