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Shaping the future of finance

Welcome to the Plastic Bank

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For those who follow my thinking, you will know that the latest theme is how can we use technology to make the world a better place (if you don’t, read Digital for Good).

The themes are about ESG, climate change, purpose and more, but it came home to me when thinking about children.

Children are hearing the world is doomed almost every day. Is that a good thing?

Children are worried the world could end tomorrow. Is that a good thing?

Children are believing that their parents and grandparents have destroyed the planet. Is that a good thing?

The point hit home with me when I heard my son say: is Lego plastic? He loves Lego building but, due to hearing so many lessons about plastic destroying the planet and making the link with Lego, he wondered if he should still be playing with such a toy.

I was tempted to say that Lego was destroying the planet, as I’ve had so many Lego incidents in the house over the past months.

Source: Shark stepping on a piece of Lego

The thing is that Lego have heard this message and are doing something about it. Why would one of the world’s leading children’s toy brands not?

In fact, the company is doing a lot of work to switch to sustainable, recycled products.

“A team of more than 150 people are working to find sustainable solutions for Lego products. Over the past three years, materials scientists and engineers tested over 250 variations of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) materials and hundreds of other plastic formulations.”

What’s this got to do with banking and fintech?

Well, how about the idea of a Plastic Bank? Oh, someone’s already had it.

Plastic Bank directly contributes to 14 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while indirectly supporting the remaining three. Plastic Bank provides a consistent, above-market rate for plastic waste,  incentivizing its collection. Individuals who gather our plastic can trade it for money, items or services. The value of Social Plastic® goes beyond the commodity price of plastic: a ladder of opportunity is created for the world’s poor by providing access to income, goods and services, and plastic is kept out of the ocean.

So now, when my son says to me is Lego made of plastic? my answer will be yes, but recycled, thanks to the work of a bank. A plastic bank.

Source: A whale steps on a piece of Lego


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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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