Plastic Bank say its full-time collectors in Haiti are on average 63% above the poverty line thanks to the income they make from the scheme. (CNN)We’re hooked on plastic, but too often we’re careless consumers. Waste plastic is entering our ecosystems and food chain with untold consequences; we’re still not sure what the long-term effects will be on our own bodies . Cleaning up our polluted world may seem a noble, if thankless task. However, some people are seeing economic opportunity in the mission. Plastic Bank, a social enterprise from Canada, says it is monetizing plastic recycling while empowering those most affected by the waste. It works to prevent plastic waste from entering oceans by incentivizing people in developing countries to collect plastic from their communities in exchange for cash or good and services — be it food, clean water or school tuition for their children. After collection, plastic is weighed, sorted, chipped, melted into pellets and sold on as “raw material feedstock” to be manufactured into everything from bottles for cleaning products to clothing. “I saw an abundance; I saw an opportunity,” CEO David Katz told an audience at the Sustainable Brands Oceans conference in Porto, Portugal on […]

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