Introducing a social responsibility-business model, The Plastic Bank was the recipient of the 2014 RCBC Environmental Award for Innovation recognizing an individual or company that achieves an outstanding technical accomplishment in design or development of a product or process that improves its sustainability or advances zero waste practices.
The Plastic Bank is turning plastic waste into a currency that can be exchanged to help lift people out of poverty and transition them into a self-sustaining life of entrepreneurship. The Plastic Bank is setting up re-purposing / exchange centers for plastic waste in areas that have a high concentration of poverty and plastic pollution. The Plastic Bank’s mandate is to provide a ladder of opportunity for the world's poor to ascend from poverty by providing access to education, credit opportunities and 3D printing services. Currently The Plastic Bank is being piloted in Bogota and Lima.
Also, The Plastic Bank with the help of Encorp Pacific, Merlin Plastics, Lush Cosmetics, The Canadian Plastics Industry Association, VanCity and several community groups launched The Plastics For Change program on the West Coast of North America. The Plastic For Change program was piloted to assess how plastic from shoreline clean-upscould be utilized to help prevent future plastics from entering the ocean. The goal of the program is to give community groups and NGO’s an opportunity to put their shoreline plastics to good use. Companies may use the recycled plastic debris in their product line if they agree to sponsor the development of re-purposing centers for plastic waste in high poverty regions through The Plastic Bank.
The Plastic Bank was also featured in the 2014 Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference Session on New Business Models of the Circular Economy. Watch the session here.