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The Plastic Bank: Turning Trash into Cash for People in Need

A bank that helps people in poor communities exchange plastic for basic goods has the potential to help solve two urgent gobal issues at the same time.



If you have a slightly uncomfortable feeling every time you purchase a plastic juice bottle or are handed a plastic bag, you are surely not alone. We “get it” that plastic is not biodegradable and lives forever in landfills, but it is hard to avoid this petroleum-based family of substances in everyday life.


Now there’s a glimmer of improvement. Born in May 2013, the Plastic Bank is an international group of experts focused on 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.


David Katz, the Plastic Bank’s founder, aims to “reveal value in plastic” and make it too valuable a commodity to throw away. Under Katz’s vision, people may exchange recyclable plastics for credits that can be used to buy basic necessities, print 3D products such as water pumps, and provide various other life improving opportunities.


The official launch of the first Plastic Banks will take place next May in Columbia and Peru. Katz looks forward to 2035 as a target date when there will be Plastic Banks in “all corners of the world” which will have played an integral part in the elimination of world poverty.


What You Can Do:


Watch and Share this video that explains how the Plastic Bank can help address two urgent global issues at the same time:


Sign the Petition for Companies to Use "Social Plastic" that Improves Lives While Reducing Plastic Waste