“Treating Plastic as Currency Helps Keep It Out of the Ocean”
Nyoman Dartini used plastic to pay for temple offerings she made for a summer full moon celebration on the Indonesian island of Bali. She plans to use plastic again to buy food and make more offerings during Galungan, a Hindu celebration marking the victory of good over evil.
Not plastic as in a credit card, but the bottles she collects from her job as a sweeper at a market in Denpasar. She brings them to a collection center operated by Plastic Bank, which tallies her deposits and sends her texts updating her balance. “My salary is not enough,” says the 60-year-old, speaking cheerfully about the extra 100,000 rupiah (about $7) she averages every month. The money supplements her own wages as well as those from her husband’s construction work and their son’s job in hotel housekeeping. “If I didn’t have this money, we would have to take out loans.”