Friday, March 20, 2015

Feel Good Friday - The Plastic Bank

At least once a year, Feel Good Friday focuses on a plastic waste story and today is that day.

In 2012 we introduced artist, Tess Felix, who made portraits from items she found on the beach. In 2013, we learned how plastic bottles became surfboards in Brazil, thanks to the Eco Surfboard Project. And in 2014 we went to Oregon to see sculptures made from plastic ocean debris that had Washed Ashore.

Today we visit The Plastic Bank, an organization who states on their website, "We make plastic waste a currency to help reduce global poverty, while stopping plastic from entering the ocean."

Based in Vancouver, BC, The Plastic Bank was the brainchild of David Katz who wanted to start a business that benefitted people and the planet as well as bring in profits. He partnered with Shaun Frankson in 2013 and they have taken David's idea and turned it into a thriving company.

As stated on their Facebook page, "Our mission is to remove plastic waste from the land, oceans and waterways while helping people ascend from poverty and transition to entrepreneurship. We call harvesting and repurposing plastics like this 'Social Plastic'."

The first Plastic Bank is in Lima, Peru and a second is being opened in Haiti. Local people collect plastic on the beaches, or wherever else they find it, bring it to the Plastic Bank and then exchange it for health, education or 3D printing services. That's right. The plastic is transformed into the raw material needed for 3D printing!

Companies like LUSH are using Social Plastic to package their products - you can watch a short video here then check their website for a store near you.

One of the best ways you can support the Plastic Bank is through social media. It's easy to like their Facebook page, which lists the company's name as, "I Demand Corporations Use Recycled Ocean/Social Plastics: The Plastic Bank". If demands are not your style, you can always take a more low key approach and follow them on Twitter @PlasticBank. Either way, you'll be by spreading the word and stop spreading the plastic!

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