Most of the world does not have adequate facilities to process the huge amount of plastic waste being produced, causing the leakage of plastics into our environment. The 80% of plastic soup that comes from land is dominated by consumer waste, especially packaging. Landfills, dumps and incineration of garbage are the dominant ways countries manage their waste (Worldbank, 2016). This results in a destruction of valuable materials, land, ecosystems and affects public health.

High collection and recycling rates decrease plastic litter from becoming plastic soup. Unfortunately most countries do not see the value of recycling or don’t have the capital to invest (and maintain) large scale recycling facilities. That’s why Plastic Soup Foundation introduces a new solution to tackle this worldwide problem: Plastic Urban Mining.

With Plastic Urban Mining we help companies, educational institutions, governments and communities in the transition from a linear to a circular economy by managing the whole plastic cycle. From creating awareness & education to the development of products made out from the recycled plastic, Plastic Urban Mining is the all-in-one solution.

Nepal

In 2015, PSF was invited by ICCO, The Karuna Foundation and the local government of Kathmandu to come to Nepal and explore the possibilities of Plastic Urban Mining in the capital. The Holy Baghmati River running through the heart of the city is polluted with plastic. Riverbanks are fully plasticized and there is no life in the river.

There is a lively trade in trash and valuable plastics, but most of the plastic ends up in India for recycling. Plastic Soup Foundation is exploring possibilities together with local organizations to stop the plastic pollution and make the Holy Baghmati River clean again.

Bonaire

This small tropical island is known as “Diver’s Paradise”. Bonaire attracts divers, snorkelers, wind- and kite surfers from around the world. Yet this paradise has a waste problem, on land and in the sea. The east coast is flooded with plastic marine debris and the local dump for waste is taking up precious space.

Together with Boneiru Duradero we are looking if plastic trash that’s now dumped, can be turned into cash for the island. Through recycling of local plastics, we want to produce local products that do not have to be imported anymore. This creates jobs, saves costs and saves the environment.

Rio de Janeiro

Together with WWF Brasil we started our first mission of Plastic Urban Mining (PUM) in Rio de Janeiro. For years Rio has had problems with plastic marine debris in the Guanabara Bay. Over 50 rivers transport a mix of plastic garbage and sewage to the bay area.

Our main goal with this PUM-mission is to support local garbage collectors. These people are the heroes of Rio, as they make sure plastic garbage from the streets doesn’t end up in the water. Plastic is collected and sold to a middleman. We want to empower the collectors by giving them the tools plastic recyclers use, only smaller. With the right tools they can start producing their own products, increasing their income and increasing the incentive to collect plastic from the streets. This blueprint is easily duplicable to other communities in Rio and a solution for getting the Guanabara Bay cleaner at the source.