Nonprofit Finds Unique Way to Support Environmentally Friendly Small Businesses


Large corporations account for the majority of the world’s pollution. But small businesses also play a role. And one nonprofit is looking to this market to make a difference.

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

Here’s how it works: Small business subscribers submit a preset number of plastic bottles, which are then traced by Plastic Bank, as they’re used to produce new items to benefit people in underdeveloped communities. In exchange, small businesses get access to money and points they can use for various benefits, from health and life insurance to fintech services.

Plastic Bank Founder and CEO David Katz recently told Recycling Today, “In waiting for more big businesses to become regenerative, we are ignoring the immense potential of small businesses to drive a meaningful transition toward a purpose economy. If we provide entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources to integrate purpose into their business and help them build a tribe of like-minded customers who recognize and reward this shift, we can drive unprecedented growth and impact. It’s a win-win-win for the people, the planet and the businesses.”

It’s true that a small number of large corporations contribute more than half of the world’s pollution. But this can sometimes make individuals and small businesses feel helpless or like their actions won’t contribute to a more sustainable world.

Plastic Bank’s offering aims to combat that by providing real benefits to businesses that make positive changes. It may not be enough to reach the corporate world. But the small business market can still make an impact – and it’s a more accessible goal for the organization. Overall, this type of incentive may make significant progress in curbing ocean bound plastic pollution while waiting for larger scale change that impacts major polluters.

Image: Envato

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.