2 billion plastic bottles stopped from entering the ocean by Plastic Bank.

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Environmentally friendly enterprise Plastic Bank announced that it has stopped approximately 2 billion plastic bottles from entering the ocean. That is the equivalent of 40 million kilograms of plastic that could’ve potentially ended up the ocean. Plastic bank work to help eliminate plastic waste and find solutions to this crisis.


Who are plastic bank?


Plastic bank help in the reduction of plastic ending up in the ocean. Plastic bank operate in Brazil, Philippines, Indonesia, and Egypt. They normally operate in communities along coasts and recycle wasted resources so materials can be reprocessed for manufacture. Plastic bank also works to assist collector communities which are people who volunteer in the collection and removal of waste from the ocean. For every material a collector collects, they receive a bonus. This allows them to provide basic necessities for themselves or family i.e., bills, groceries, health insurance, tuition etc. plastic bank secures these transactions through their blockchain platform. The materials that are collected is tuned into Social Plastic® which is a unique recycled plastic material that is ethically sourced as they are repurposed into packaging and products.

How did they do it?


With the help of SC Johnson (Manufacturer of household cleaning supplies), Plastic Bank created 379 collection centres in Brazil, Indonesia, and Philippines from 2018 to present day. They worked with over 30,000 collectors at a total of 500 collection points and supplied over 22,000 collectors with extra income. As a result, 40 million kilograms of bottles, which is the equivalent of 2 billion plastics, were prevented from causing disruption in the ocean ecosystems. Upon collection of plastics, they were 100% recycled and used in both of SC Johnson’s cleaning products. Windex in the US, and Mr Muscle in the U.K. and Ireland.


So, how does plastic end up in the ocean?


You don’t have to be far away from the coast for your plastic waste to find its way into the sea. 80% of plastic in the ocean comes from land. So, one way plastic ends up in the sea is due to littering. Waste in general doesn’t remain on the street after littering. Wind combined with rainwater guides rubbish into rivers and streams, and drains which lead directly into the sea.


Putting plastics in general bins instead of recycling can lead to ocean waste because plastics end up in landfill sites. As general waste is being taken to landfill, the wind can sometimes blow plastics away due to their lightweight. This will cause them to enter drains and streams and eventually find its way in the ocean. Items we use daily such as wipes, sanitary products and cotton buds can also find their way into the ocean as they tend to get flushed down the toilet.


Once plastic has made its way into the ocean, it decomposes at a very slow rate. Overtime, it breaks down or disintegrates into smaller micro plastics. These micro plastics can harm sea life by having a toxic effect on fish and aquatic life. It has the ability to delay growth and reduce food intake which can cause oxidative impairment and abnormal behaviour. Other effects include reproductive impairment and death of sea life.


Plastic Bank believes they can “empower a regenerative society” and build a circular economy for recycled plastic. They believe by supporting collector communities and using ethical recycling to reprocess plastic waste, they can significantly reduce the reliance on virgin plastic; all while making an impact environmentally, socially, and economically.


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