The folks at Plastic Bank (www.plasticbank.org) had the keen insight that material as valuable as cash is in fact laying on the ground, just waiting to be washed into the sea...if nobody picks it up first.
The material is plastic. And Plastic Bank's simple but revolutionary idea is to create a system in which plastic itself is acceptable as cash so that the world's poorest may pay for groceries, clothes, and other necessities while simultaneously cleaning up the planet.
From their website:
The Plastic Bank provides a consistent, above-market rate for plastic waste, thus incentivizing its collection. Individuals who gather our plastic can trade it for money, items or services. The Plastic Bank also provides the ability for local entrepreneurs to set up and operate a convenience store for the poor, in which plastic waste is the currency. Plastic collected through The Plastic Bank is recycled and sold at a premium as Social Plastic®.
I am just learning about it but the idea sounds cool too me--solving two problems at once: poverty and pollution. Nice work Plastic Bank!