Plastics News - Show Daily - October 22, 2022 - 16

16 * Plastics News, October 22, 2022
SHOW DAILY
Plastic Bank seeks market at K for 'social plastic'
By Steve Toloken
Plastics News Staff
Plastic Bank hopes K 2022 can
catapult the social enterprise more
fi rmly into the plastics industry.
The company operates a software
platform and builds networks that
link more than 600 recycling centers
in developing nations.
Founded in 2013, it has grown
fast enough in recent years that it is
getting enough volume of recycled
plastic in its network to branch
out to exhibiting at its fi rst plastics
show, said David Katz, founder and
chief commercial offi cer.
" There's some signifi cance for
us, as the company has matured
PLASTIC
BANK
Hall 8B,
Booth A13
and been
able to grow
to a place
to be able
to support
the volumes
that companies
attending
the K
fair may be looking for, " Katz said.
" We're growing exponentially. "
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based
fi rm said its network
has collected about 60 million kilograms
of plastic thus far - the
equivalent of 3 billion bottles -
and at K is exhibiting products
made by major consumer product
brands using its materials, including
S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.,
Henkel and outdoor furniture
maker ScanCom.
He said about half of Plastic
Bank's volume thus far has been
used by S.C. Johnson, which has
made very public announcements
about using ocean-bound
plastic in its packaging.
Katz said Plastic Bank wants
to build stronger ties in the plastics
industry, as it seeks more
markets for the recycled PET,
polypropylene, and high and low
density polyethylene that the
network produces.
New BOY XS E
With more efficient
servo-motor pump drive
Spritzgiessautomaten
At K, the company says it will
commit to stopping 50 oceanbound
plastic bottles for every attendee
who signs up for the company's
" Ocean Steward " program,
but it's also focused on building
relationships with companies. It
has had about a dozen such arrangements
with fi rms in the plastics
industry, including injection
machinery maker Engel Group.
More of its work, though,
has been with consumer products
companies that use Plastic
Bank's blockchain-secured platform
to verify and trace where
material comes from and follow
it through the supply chain.
The bank hopes its K 2022 appearance
can strengthen its network
within the plastics industry,
whether that's recyclers, packaging
makers or other companies.
" We haven't been targeting the
plastics industry as broadly as
we are now, so we'll see how it
changes, " Katz said.
Hall 13
Booth A 43
'Wild West'
He said he thinks price sensitivity
and competitiveness among
plastics fi rms have at times been
barriers - " it's sometimes the
Wild West in the plastics industry "
- as well as the newness of
the bank's business model, which
has consumer product fi rms at
times paying premiums to support
a stable price for the material,
which it calls " social plastic. "
" We offer social plastic, which
is a different material type than
recycled plastic, " Katz said. " It's
priced as social plastic. Compared
to recycled plastic, there
may and sometimes may not be
a difference in price. "
At the collection centers, people
can turn in plastic for credits
that can be immediately used to
pay school tuition or buy medical
insurance, internet access,
drinking water or other things.
The idea, he said, is to try to
turn plastic into a form of money
to incentivize its collection.
Instability in global plastics pricing
is felt very strongly by people
trying to earn money collecting it
in developing countries, he said.
" We provide a space for the
world to use plastic to help end
poverty, " he said. " We address
that by treating it like money. "
The group has recycling centers
in its network around the
world, including the Philippines,
Indonesia and Brazil.
" We need to be in the areas
with the greatest injustice, with
the greatest volume of material
entering the oceans, " Katz said.
" It's no coincidence that those
come in areas of poverty. "
He hopes some in the industry
can see " social plastic " as a new
business model, potentially even
distinct from recycled plastic.
" The industry should try to
embrace and lean forward and
take it on as a new category, "
Katz said.
He argues it's not altruism to
pursue the business model -
consumers and employees are
looking for it also.
" You're looking at a new consumer
that is passionate not just
about the environment, climate,
marine [issues] but they're passionate
about where they're going
to work, " Katz said. " If you're
not investing in those products
and processes that [are about]
the authenticity of making
change in the world, you will not
hire new talent. "
As part of that he believes consumers
are more accepting of imperfections
in appearance that may
come with recycled plastic, as well
as being more generally concerned
about plastic in the environment.
" The fl ood of virgin plastic is
the contributor to what we see
happening in the environment, "
Katz said. " And simultaneously
we now do see a consumer who
is not standing for that. "
The bank's model taps into
that, Katz said, by helping companies
show to consumers, in
a credible way, the traceability
of the material they use in their
packaging.
" The consumer has the ability
to authentically understand that
their purchase makes a difference, "
he said.
In an interview, Katz said the
bank sees itself as an advocate
for plastics.
" We're big advocates for the
industry, we're big advocates for
the material, we're big advocates
for the ocean, " he said. " If every
piece of packaging was easily exchangeable
for $5, we wouldn't
see any in the environment.
" How might we steward it all
and change the paradigm that society
has against the material -
unjustly so? " Katz said. " It's not
the material, it's the way we've
been handling it that is the root
of the challenges. "
STRETCHING THE LIMITS
Hall 03, C90
19.- 26. Oct, Düsseldorf, Germany
www.brueckner.com
David Katz, founder and chief commercial offi cer, says Plastic Bank is
exhibiting products made by major consumer product brands using its
materials, including S.C. Johnson & Son, Henkel and outdoor furniture
maker ScanCom.
Plastics News photo by Caroline Seidel
http://www.brueckner.com

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 22, 2022

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