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How ‘Social Plastic’ Could Solve Marine Pollution

New recycling centers in Indonesia offer residents a place to exchange plastic garbage for money, using blockchain technology.

Ever wonder what happens to all those plastic straws, spoons, water bottles and bags we use just once and throw away? You might not think much of them once they’re in the trash, but they have quite an afterlife.

Unfortunately, billions of pounds of plastic work their way through the waterways and converge into tiny scattered islands across the world’s oceans — it’s the equivalent of one garbage truck load of plastic every minute, and it affects many coastal communities that face high levels of poverty.

But what if you could find a way to rethink the value of all that plastic? What if there was a way to turn that plastic into money in the form of tokens that you can use to buy education or medicine?

That’s the idea behind Plastic Bank, which leverages a partnership with SC Johnson and IBM’s blockchain technology to give currency to plastic. In our video above, learn how localized solutions might be just what we need to fix this global crisis.

This article was paid for by SC Johnson and co-created by RYOT Studio. HuffPost editorial staff did not participate in the creation of this content.

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