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09 March 2017

'Turning Plastic to Gold - The Plastic Bank and David Katz'

Written by David Katz, Posted in Fish Net Blog

How is everything going?

Things are remarkable and we are engaged globally. We started in Peru and grew from what we needed to learn. We are now are fully executing in Haiti as well the Philippines with immediate plans to go into Indonesia. We get calls from around the world; the need is global. 

Please explain your thinking on making plastic too valuable to ever end up in the ocean.

It's the rule. If you're walking down the road, and you're stepping over bars of gold, you’re going to want to bend over and pick them up because you see it shining. But if you recognize that there is no bank that you can take that gold to, that there's no store that you can use it to buy anything with, there's no one who will exchange anything for it. Would you pick it up? Probably not. And that's precisely what we do. We implement the very infrastructure that just by its existence reveals the very inherent value that's already in that petroleum-based material. It reveals the value of currency that's already inside it.

We don't give it a value it already has value. We just help show it. And we further exemplify the value in it by providing for exchange the things that are beyond the reach of most citizens; like doctor care, illness insurance and school tuition. In the most impoverished areas where accidents and illness and fire and everything else are so readily apparent, there is no insurance. So that's one of the items that we would provide as an exchange item for plastic; medical care, illness care, access to doctors, or even school tuition. 

What is Social Plastic?

Social plastic is the plastic whose value has been transferred through the life of the people who have collected it or exchanged it. That's social plastic. That very plastic that helps someone transition through the confines of poverty. Which they then get to use as a currency with us so that we can continue to grow and develop. It allows them to then deposit that material into a bank account. A bank account provides them with a sense of identity, a sense of worth, a sense of being. Within the program that we're implementing within the Philippines, once you begin to have deposits and add to the deposit you get a prepaid credit card. Where the value can be transferred onto the credit card to give you even further opportunity to exhibit worth as a human.

Please tell us about your Plastic Bank Platform.

The platform is a banking system. An example of how it works is like in New York. There, when anyone pays a bottle deposit, you take it to a center to get that deposit back. Soon what you're going to be able to do is take all your recycling to one of those deposit return centers and you'll be able to take that value and deposit it into the account of someone around the world. So in Canada for instance, a 2 liter soda bottle has a $0.10 return. To build a solid building brick for someone's home in the Philippines, it's $0.20. So every two 2-liter soda bottles that are returned, equates to one brick for a house! Easily over the course of the year you'd be able to contribute to building somebody's home!  

How are you working with blockchain to reduce poverty and ocean plastic?

In the areas of the world that happen to be the most impoverished, it happens to coincide with the greatest amounts of corruption and insecurity. This is a banking system that allows you to deposit your materials, lets you have a savings and many other things and is set up in a blockchain based technology.

We've come to learn that Blockchain technology is ultimately incorruptible. It's the most secure banking system in the world! We provide the most secure banking platform with the most secure banking technology on the planet for garbage.

We've got a launch date this month in Las Vegas and it will be fully implemented in May. A global partner is IBM. IBM is so inspired by what we do, recognizing what we're doing is so important, that they want to be able to help that. They want the world to know that IBM is helping to clean the world.

We want people to have that sense of security as well, and that comes as a digital currency. Because part of that corruption is that when someone has a big wad of money in their pocket, that's typically when they're most vulnerable. Now when it's digital, and there's a PIN code, and you can go to a bank machine and withdraw or you can use your credit card to pay for things, you don't have to carry cash. Much more secure. 

In your mind, how can companies best engage with consumers to eradicate plastic in our oceans?

Use the plastic that we collect, that's really the best way. The easiest thing that you can do is use our material. You let your customer know that when they buy your package they are gathering together with the world's poor to help clean the world!

About the Author

David Katz

David Katz


As Founder and CEO of The Plastic Bank, David provides an opportunity for the world’s most vulnerable communities to collect and trade plastic waste as a currency. The Plastic Bank is creating a global network of micro-recycling entrepreneurs that will transcend poverty by cleaning the environment.

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