Plastic bank : reducing poverty and plastic waste


Plastic Bank

Company type



Waste management

Business model

Create value from waste

Circular principle

Pursue efficient use of materials, energy, and water


Every minute, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic waste enters our oceans—a total of 8 million metric tons a year. This plastic waste litters the seafloor and floats on the surface in vast plastic patches, poisoning seabirds and other marine life. By the year 2050, one estimate suggests there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.



Founded in May 2013, social enterprise Plastic Bank aims to tackle ocean pollution head-on.

 “At Plastic Bank, we encourage citizens to collect plastic waste and deliver it to our local processing centers. In return, they earn life-changing rewards like schooling for their children, food or phone top-ups. We then grind the plastic into pellets and sell this back to manufacturers to re-use as an ethically-sourced raw material.”

– David Katz, Founder and CEO of Plastic Bank.



Value proposition: By turning citizens in the world’s poorest countries into recycling entrepreneurs, Plastic Bank aims both to clean up the ocean and to lift millions out of poverty across the globe.

Value creation and delivery: To support its plans for global expansion, Plastic Bank selected IBM Blockchain technology delivered on a private cloud by managed service provider Cognition Foundry, powered by IBM® LinuxONE™. Blockchain is used to track the entire cycle of recycled plastic from collection, credit and compensation through delivery to companies for re-use.Plastic Bank and Cognition Foundry worked with the IBM Client Center Montpellier team to develop a system of blockchain-powered token rewards based on IBM Blockchain to underpin the recycling of plastic waste in exchange for valuable commodities. Together, Plastic Bank’s blockchain token rewards and exchange platform for recycling incentivize the collection of plastic, preventing it from becoming ocean plastic.

Value capture: Companies interested in becoming plastic neutral pay for the services offered by Platic Bank. First, companies alculate their product’s plastic footprint and can chose to neutralize all of their products or a specific line.Plastic Bank calculates the equivalent amount of Social Plastic Collection Credits necessary to fulfill the neutrality promise. SPCCs are distributed to the organization’s ecosystems to support collectors and the infrastructure needed to extract the desired plastic volume.



Plastic Bank website


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