How a community project in western India has improved access to affordable, clean drinking water for hundreds of households.
Turning the tide on plastic waste
Shell and The Plastic Bank have collaborated on a campaign with ambitions of removing a million kilograms of waste from Haiti by the end of 2017. Dutch Olympian Dorian van Rijsselberghe visited the region to see the impact the work was making. Watch his documentary below.
Watch: How Shell’s collaboration with The Plastic Bank aims to tackle plastic waste
Title: Shell Supports the Plastic Bank
the plastic Bank: Haiti
DORIAN VAN RIJSSELBERGHE
TWO-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST, WINDSURFING
Haiti is special in a way that's...it’s a beautiful country …. There is a lot of pollution, but the people they’re happy, they’re friendly. They’re willing to do something. They only need a little step up
to be able to resolve this big problem that they have.
While windsurfing for the Olympics I saw the amount of plastic in the oceans. I’ve been battling the plastic ever since. Before I even touched the ground I saw the little streams in between the houses and they were polluted with lots of plastic and other debris. It was quite vivid and surreal. So, I came over here to meet up with David. David is the founder of The Plastic Bank, I wanted to see what he is doing over here. How his social plastic is going to save Haiti.
FOUNDER, THE PLASTIC BANK
We’re just simply an opportunity for the entire world to be a part of the extraction of plastic from ocean-bound waterways. We’re working with the poor and prohibiting it from entering the ocean.
The ultimate goal for The Plastic Bank is to monetize the waste in such a way that every piece of material that anyone encounters should be saved. The opportunity for people to take plastic which is discarded freely to be able to collect and take it to one of our centres and the be able to exchange that for cash or exchange it for cooking fuel or the ability to charge a cell phone.
So, we’re here in Port-au-Prince and we’re going to go up into the hill’s just above 1500 meters above Port-au-Prince. I’m going to show you how that centre is helping keep all the material from flowing. Right now, Kentscoff. Great! I’ll show you around. I’ll show you where we are. This is Kentscoff. And here with the rain, this is where it begins. It gets caught up. It gets caught up in the stream, and the creek, and it makes it’s
way to the river.
Yes, it just flows and it makes its way to the ocean. Always does, right. It’s always the lowest point. So it’s important to start here. It’s important to start.. uh.. really at the origin of it. And so let’s go, I’ll show you around.
The people come in here with the plastic and then what happens?
It's a simple process. You can collect plastic, bring it to the centre and it gets weighed. By the pound. You can either get cash, or you can buy things with it. Whether it be water, sustainable cooking fuel or stoves.
And how many of these containers are there?
We continue to grow. In Haiti we got 30 collection locations.
The people, their first priority is not looking after the world, not making it
a better place for everybody. But keeping themselves and their family’s alive.
You have to already know where you’re next meal is coming from. You can’t take someone who lives in abject poverty and have them be considerate of recycling. And you can’t think of others if you don’t have food for your children.
So for me to be able to understand where all the plastic is coming from we’re headed to one of the river mouth’s and the amount of plastic that flows into the ocean is huge… is just insane. There was no sand it was just plastic and plastic and plastic and then there was water. So the whole beach was gone.
How are you?
What does “The Plastic Bank” give you in return for your plastic.
RECYCLER, THE PLASTIC BANK
They give me everything need for this job, work clothes, sanitation and financial support so I can get more money which in turn helps me to pay for school tuition and feed my kids.
MANAGER, THE PLASTIC BANK
As you can see behind me there is the element of every school that we went through, so those sacks are put inside of the school’s, that’s where we dispose of the plastic and when they’re full we just come to pick them up, pick them up and weigh it and give the money to the schools for what they need.
As new and virgin material, price drops?
Of course the price recycled material drops. One of the challenge’s we uncovered, the opportunity’s, more appropriately, bring price stability to the poor.
Well Shell is supporting The Plastic Bank. And by supporting The Plastic Bank they are able to pay the collectors and make sure that they get the right money for the plastic. So it’s really improving their situation at home. I really enjoyed the interacting with the people seeing the benefits they were
having eh exchanging smiles and fist thumbs, just happy people that are willing to make a change.
I’m just gifted to be a part of this whole thing not just as an employee but just the impact The Plastic Bank has, just The Plastic Bank as far is making a change in this country.
The ultimate goal for the Plastic Bank is monetise waste in such a way that it is never discarded, it’s a commitment to make plastic free streets around the world.
- THIS BOTTLE IS DESIGNED WITH A PURPOSE
- THIS BOTTLE SUPPORTS THE COLLECTING OF PLASTIC WASTE
- Logo: plasticbank.org
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