The Plastic Bank
Credit: Courtesy the Plastic Bank

The Plastic Bank will add to its award collection

The company is gaining recognition for developing a way to transform plastic waste into currency

Another United Nations climate change conference, another prestigious award for the Plastic Bank, a Vancouver-based company that has fought to bring a halt to ocean plastic.

The Plastic Bank will receive one of 19 Lighthouse Momentum for Change Activity awards at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) summit, which runs from November 6 to 17 in Bonn, Germany. The prize recognizes the company’s creation of the Social Plastic program, a system that uses harmful plastic dumped into the ocean as currency in developing countries.

“The Plastic Bank acts as a convenience store for the world’s poor that accepts plastic waste as a currency,” founder and CEO David Katz said in a statement. “Some of the largest companies on the planet” have committed to using Social Plastic, Katz added.

Two years ago, at the COP21 summit in Paris, the Plastic Bank took home the Sustainia Community Award. The company currently operates in Haiti and the Philippines, but it recently announced plans to expand globally.

In addition to the UN award, Katz has an hour-long meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City on November 19. Although the company isn’t releasing details of the collaboration, it’s promising “an amazing thing for the planet.”