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May 2013 – David Katz attended a 10 day course at Singularity University with the goal to conceive a new business idea. He was determined to create a triple bottom line (People, Planet, Profit) social enterprise with the potential to impact a billion people or more. On the second day he had an epiphany that was immediately followed up with this phone call.

 

“I’ve figured out our new business. It’s called The Plastic Bank. We make plastic waste a currency to help the world’s most disadvantaged people. I’ve come to realize that the problem with plastic waste, is that people see it as waste. But if we can reveal the value in plastic, we can make it too valuable to throw away. If we can reveal value in people, we can unleash the potential of the world’s most disadvantaged and give them a platform to improve their lives. That’s my vision. It’s a triple bottom line social enterprise. We reveal value in plastic and it will have a domino effect on the world. What do you think?”

 

David Katz

“Love it. Let’s Make it Happen.”

Shaun Frankson

On May 24 2013, they went to work creating The Plastic Bank. David focused on financing the business and attracting the right partners. Shaun coined the term Social Plastic® and created the social media and brand strategy to introduce The Plastic Bank to the world. Over the next year The Plastic Bank was featured in over 200 interviews worldwide.

A Partner in LUSH Cosmetics

 

In 2014 LUSH promoted The Plastic Bank on their charity pots. LUSH officially became the first buyers of Social Plastic® when they agreed to purchase all of the recycled HPDE from the shore line clean up pilot project. In 2015 LUSH will be using Social Plastic® in their Sea Spray bottle line.

In 2014 The team spent time in Peru and Colombia to learn from the disadvantaged people who recycle for a living. By early 2014 The Plastic Bank had successfully created a Social Plastic® movement. People from over 130 countries had signed the Facebook petition and weekly partnership requests came from over 75 different countries. By the summer of 2015 they had over 1 million Facebook fans supporting the movement.

In time for Earth Day, June 2014, The Plastic Bank announced the world’s first 3D printed item made from recycled ocean plastic. This involved taking the lowest quality plastic possible and turning it into a usable feedstock for 3D printing. In the spirit of being a true social enterprise they made the technology open source for the world to use and improve upon.

December 2014 The Plastic Bank officially completed the final pilot program in Peru. In early 2015 The Plastic Bank launched its full operations in Haiti through Solar Powered Social Plastic Recycling Markets. Plans are now in place to expand this model globally.

“David Katz and Shaun Frankson have scaled up a biz in 18 months that might take others 18 years, while solving a huge problem on the planet. This is a billion dollar venture in the making” Verne Harnish

Author of The Rockefeller Habits, Founder of Gazelles.