Nonprofit Finds Unique Way to Support Environmentally Friendly Small Businesses


Large corporations are responsible for most of the world's pollution. But small businesses play a role too. One nonprofit hopes to make a difference in this market.

Plastic Bank is a Vancouver-based organization that collects and processes plastic that would otherwise end up in the ocean. The nonprofit recently launched an offering for small businesses called Impact Subscription, which aims to curb plastic pollution while providing real business benefits.

Here's how it works: Small business subscribers submit a preset number of plastic bottles, which are then tracked by Plastic Bank as they are used to create new products that benefit people in underdeveloped communities. In return, small businesses get access to cash and points that they can use for a variety of benefits, from health and life insurance to fintech services.

David Katz, founder and CEO of Plastic Bank, recently told Recycling Today, “While we wait for more large companies to embrace regenerative pathways, we are ignoring the immense potential of small businesses to drive a meaningful transition to a purpose-driven economy. If we provide entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources to integrate purpose-driven operations into their business, and help them build a base of like-minded customers who recognize and reward this shift, we can drive unprecedented growth and impact. It's a win-win-win for people, the planet, and businesses.”

It is true that a small number of large companies are responsible for more than half of the world's pollution, but this can sometimes leave individuals and small businesses feeling helpless or that their actions are not contributing to a more sustainable world.

Plastic Bank's offering aims to counteract this by providing real benefits to companies that create positive change. It may not be enough to reach the corporate world. But the small business market can still make a difference – and it's a more achievable goal for the organization. Overall, this type of incentive can make significant progress in curbing ocean plastic pollution while waiting for large-scale changes that affect the big polluters.

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