Fighting Plastic

Keeping plastic waste from entering the oceans

Over 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in the sea every year. Especially developing countries often lack infrastructure for proper waste disposal. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

Money for plastic - this is the approach taken by the Plastic Bank. In Haiti, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines, people collect plastic waste. At local collection points, they can exchange it for money, food, drinking water, cell phone credit or even school fees. The project makes sure that less plastic ends up in the sea. Instead, it is recycled and turned into so-called Social Plastic, which serves as raw material for new products such as packaging.

The carbon offset is done via a Gold Standard project, a wind farm in the Philippines: or our wind power project in Aruba: For each compensated tonne of CO2, 10 kg of plastic waste is collected.

How do clean oceans contribute to climate protection?

The ocean stores a quarter of the CO2 from the atmosphere and even 93 percent of the heat caused by the greenhouse effect - making it a major brake on climate change. Warming, overfishing, pollutants and waste endanger this balancing function. Several initiatives prevent plastic waste from entering the sea and thus indirectly protect the climate. Because these activities do not generate vertified emission reductions, ClimatePartner supports ocean protection initiatives in combination with internationally recognized carbon offset projects. This allows for climate neutrality and ocean protection at the same time.

Where To Find

Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

No Poverty

Members receive a fair & stable income for the plastic they collect. Plastic Bank pays additional incentives to further improve quality of life and access to life necessities.

Zero Hunger

Plastic Bank branches offer fresh food in exchange for collected plastic. Most of this food is locally sourced and carries high nutritional value.

Good Health and Well-Being

Depending on location, members can redeem plastic for first aid kits, health insurance, or other needs. Removing plastic from water supplies helps to create cleaner living environments.

Quality Education

In Haiti members can use plastic to pay for their child’s school tuition. A zero-tolerance policy on child labour is supported by Plastic Bank's commitment to keep children in school.

Clean Water and Sanitation

Members can exchange plastic for clean drinking water. Corporate partners help to provide soap, shampoo and other sanitation products to the member communities. The removal of plastic from waterways reduces the toxicity of local water supplies.

Affordable and Clean Energy

Members can exchange plastic for portable solar-powered lamps, which double as battery packs that can charge phones and other electronics.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Plastic Bank has created jobs for 2,300 collectors in the world's poorest countries, enforcing strict policies to uphold labour and human rights. It seeks local partners to transport, process, and ship Social Plastic to inject maximum value into the local economy.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

In regions that lack integrated disposal infrastructure, Plastic Bank connects local transporters, plastic processors, freighters, and other industry members to create a circular recycling industry.

Reduced Inequalities

Low barriers to entry allow any adult in need to participate the program. They can open a secure digital banking account - often the first bank account in their lifetime - without fear of corruption or theft. This financial inclusion is key to bridging the gap between the developed world and the impoverished.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Sustainable, circular economies replace the linear, wasteful models currently in place in developing regions. Redefining the waste strategies of these communities is key to unlocking other forms of sustainable development.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Social Plastic is incorporated into the supply chains of multinational companies to reduce the demand for virgin plastic and alleviate the environmental effects related to plastic production. Consumers can identify the Social Plastic logo on product packaging to help guide responsible consumption choices.

Climate Action

Healthy oceans are vital to stabilizing the climate; the wind park in the Philippines generates verified Gold Standard emissions reductions.

Life below Water

More than 1,000 tons of plastic collected in 2018 that not entered the oceans, thus protecting marine life including microorganisms and threatened species.

Partnerships for the Goals

Plastic Bank has been recognized at the United Nations Climate Change Conference as a leader in upholding the Sustainable Development Goals and helping other organizations meet their SDG-based goals.