Canada – Canadian entrepreneur David Katz has made the top ten of Salt Magazine’s ‘100 most compassionate business leaders’ in recognition of his ambitious new project The Plastic Bank. The venture sets out to ‘eliminate virgin plastics production’ by acting as a broker for recycling firms in need of scrap plastics. Katz stresses that the benefit is two-fold as the material is sourced from underprivileged communities.
The Plastic Bank completed a pilot programme in Peru and Colombia last year and will soon launch a larger project in Haiti where upwards of 30 collection centres employing only independent waste pickers are collaborating with Haiti Recycling to help ‘reveal the true value in social plastic’ through manufacturing into new products.
Katz’s initiative was inspired by his work for his previous company Nero Global Tracking, which provides GPS tracking for fleets of vehicles. ‘We make plastic waste a currency to help the world’s most disadvantaged people,’ he explains.
Lush Cosmetics funded The Plastic Bank in 2014 and has pledged to use plastics sourced via the project for its upcoming Sea Spray bottle line. The printing sector is also a potential market and Katz’s team is currently fine-tuning a ‘heavy use’ plastic extruder that makes valuable 3D printing filament from waste plastic.
Katz believes that making people realise plastics are not waste will have a ‘domino effect’, removing plastic waste from the world’s oceans, beaches and waterways while ’empowering people living in poverty to raise their standard of living’.
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