By Marie Wieck, GM of IBM Blockchain
I met my husband in scuba class. We love the beauty and surprise that we can find beneath the surface of our oceans. But for more than six decades, plastic waste has been threatening that beauty, accumulating in and polluting oceans worldwide. Extrapolating, by 2050 there may be more plastic in our oceans than fish. How can we prevent something that is so ubiquitous from ruining our environment? To David Katz and Shaun Frankson, co-founders of Plastic Bank, the solution is deceptively simple: Pay people to keep it on dry land.
They think their company has hit on a fix, which starts by keeping plastic from getting into the ocean in the first place. Plastic Bank is a for-profit business with the goal of turning plastic from environmentally dangerous garbage into something of value.
“If you were walking down the road and every bottle on the side of the road was worth $5, how many would be left? None,” Katz says. And that is how Plastic Bank works: In developing countries such as Haiti and the Philippines, the group works with regional businesses to turn plastic that litters not just oceans, but rivers, beaches, parks, and streets, into a new kind of currency.
The Plastic Bank sets an artificially high rate for redeemed bottles and other plastic waste, incentivizing collectors to gather the trash and bring it in for recycling. Collectors receive payment, and Plastic Bank recycles the material into “social plastic,” which it then resells at a premium to environmentally aware-partner businesses like Henkel and Norton Point Sunglasses, which in turn craft it into recycled consumer goods, each branded with the social plastic message.
Norton Point’s pledge is to remove one pound of plastic from the ocean for each pair of sunglasses it …read more
Source:: Business Insider