United Nations
The Plastic Bank's commitment to provide a market based solution alleviating ocean plastic pollution and poverty while reducing CO2 emissions
by The Plastic Bank (Private sector)
The Plastic Bank (TPB) is a platform for the world to gather together to alleviate ocean plastic and global poverty. It is a convenience store for the world's poor that accepts plastic waste as a currency, and is sustained through the use of Social Plastic (SP). SP is purchased by socially and environmentally conscious brands who pay a modest price premium for SPs sustainability benefits. Sustainability verification and payment to collectors is managed by our blockchain application that recently won an IBM Beacon Award. This enables TPB's Social Plastic movement to capture and manage millions of pounds of oceanbound plastic and transform plastic waste into a compelling story for the supply chains of our global brands.

TPB is dedicated to promoting the sustainable use of plastic by promoting circular economy principles and responsible consumerism to stop the flotsam use of plastics. Jambecks (2015) seminal study notes with business as usual (BAU), by 2025, there will be a ten-fold increase in the amount of plastic waste available to enter our oceans. The world must come together and create a global solution to rid our oceans of plastic pollution: TPB is on the vanguard of this movement by making our SP the de facto Fairtrade of recycled plastics.

Our primary dedication to SDG 14 is removing millions, soon billions, of pounds of oceanbound plastic and stream this material into the economy-to help reduce the need for virgin plastic. An indirect benefit of our recycling efforts are major emission reductions attributed to replacing virgin plastic with recycled plastics. Currently, about 8% of the world's oil supply and associated emissions goes towards creating and processing virgin plastic feedstock. By 2050, emissions from plastic could account for 20% of oil use and 15% of the global annual carbon budget (WEF 2016). Elevated CO2 levels are likely acidifying our oceans. We are proud our efforts will meaningful reduce global emissions, enabling TPB to do its part to help reduce anthropogenic acidification of our oceans.

By 2050, with BAU, its estimated 20% of the world's oil supply will be required to meet humanities plastic demands. At this time, with BAU, our grandchildrens ocean will have, by weight, more plastic than fish (WEF 2016). TPB believes these BAU travesties simply cant happen and we strive to lead one of the world's most powerful market-based solutions to radically reduce humanities use of virgin plastic. Currently, over 90% of plastic is made from virgin fossil feedstocks; we aim to lead a movement that changes the tides and leads to a future where over 90% of plastic is produced by recycled plastics.

In our battle to reduce the impacts of plastic on our oceans, we will work collaboratively with partners who share our values and love of the ocean. We applaud all efforts by other individuals and organizations aiming to improve the health of our oceans. From everyone at Team Plastic Bank, we are truly honoured to showcase our efforts and leadership dedicated to supporting SDG 14.

Jambeck2015: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768

WEF2016: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse
March 2018
Have effective working relationship with at least 25 recycling centres in the Philippines by Q1 2018.
Staff / Technical expertise
The Plastic Bank's Social Plastic movement starts in Haiti.
Basic information
Time-frame: 2015 March - 2025 March
The Social Plastic Foundation (other relevant actor)
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
  • North Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Brian Bauer, Integrated Sustainability Specialist , brian@plasticbank.org,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Other SDGs
United Nations