Non-Profit Helps The Poor Barter For Goods With Foraged Waste

Non-Profit Helps The Poor Barter For Goods With Foraged Waste

Plastic Bank guides people in developing nations into entrepreneurship through sustainable efforts.

Serena Chu
  • 6 january 2014

Many choose to look the other way when they see trash washed up on shore, but not David Katz – this entrepreneur is compelled to take action against plastic pollution and restore some green integrity in developing nations. His organization, Plastic Bank, has plans to incentivize garbage collection, setting up a “currency” that’s not backed by gold, but by plastic pollution and recyclable waste.

The idea cemented in Katz’s mind after he attended a meeting at the Singularity University in California. And after some careful planning and an elaborate business plan, Katz is looking to build the first Plastic Bank facility, which will be commissioned to remove plastic waste from land and ocean, in Peru next April.


As a means to increase the overall living standards in the region, the organization focuses their attention on people from impoverished communities. For those Peruvians willing to participate in localized waste pick-up, educational and monetary opportunities will be offered in exchange for their contributions. They will be able to exchange mixed plastics for credits that can be used for foods and other everyday goods, as well as access to the 3D printing facilities to make their own items or parts. In addition to those services, training will also be given to waste collectors so that they can establish their own recycling facilities in the future.

Peru is only the start, Katz envisions processing centers across the globe, specifically in areas where natural beauty is tarnished by pollution, like parts of Central and South America and South East Asia. This nonprofit serves a grandeur purpose: Plastic Bank is a catalyst for change, educating and empowering local people to reveal the value in themselves and to see the transformation of waste into necessities and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Plastic Bank

Source: Co Exist, Plastic Bank 


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Nonny de la Peña

Virtual Reality, Immersive Journalism, Storytelling

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.