By Jill Ettinger / Source: Ecosalon
Plastic waste is building up all around the world. And now, in some countries, it’s being used as a currency of sorts.
It’s a pretty brilliant concept: offer people useful services and products for plastic waste they collect from the streets and beaches in the developing world and bring into regional “plastic banks.”
The idea is the brainchild of Vancouver entrepreneur David Katz who created the organization Plastic Bank.
“If we can reveal the value in the things around us, then we can give people the opportunity to make a better life with that,” he told Fast Company.
Here’s how it’s going to work in Peru, where the first Plastic Bank is set to open this spring: Plastic waste “pickers” will be able to visit the Plastic Bank and trade in their collection of mixed plastics for food, shoes and other necessities. And, according to Fast Company, they can even use the bank’s 3D printing facilities to make items they may need. “Perhaps they’re working with waste from a gas station and the mechanics need components they can print on site. It gives them an opportunity to take the waste out of the environment and make something worth $5, $10, or $20,” Katz says.
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