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

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

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 

+Environmental / Green
+fashion / apparel
+financial services
+Latin America
+Work & Business

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