Pay It Forward has a goal of raising $10 million to construct a biomass gasification facility. This goal will be achieved through numerous campaigns and with the support of many, and it will take time.
Initially, the feed-stock for the gasification process will be single-use plastic bags but will evolve over time to include other plentiful but low-value items such as other plastics, used tires, medical waste, among others.
Most communities in the U.S. do not accept plastic bags in curbside recycling because the bags get tangled up in the equipment, causing problems for recyclers.
Most single-use plastic bags end up in landfills, the ocean, or littering our environment, impacting birds, marine life, and humans.
Image: World Wildlife Fund
According to Waste Management, Americans use 100 billion plastic bags per year, which means the average family takes home 1,500 plastic bags per year. Only 1% of plastic bags are returned to drop-off locations for recycling while the rest end up in landfills. It takes more than 500 (or more) years for a plastic bag to degrade.
Unfortunately, the bags do not break down completely but instead become micro-plastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.
Pay It Forward’s first initiative is to sell personal plastic bag recycling canisters as a promotional item for businesses.
Another campaign is to sell postage-paid envelopes for a direct mail campaign to educate the people of Los Angeles, California to address their trash crisis and typhus outbreak.
More campaigns will be forthcoming with the hope that one day we can cleanly convert single-use plastic bags, among other items, to create fuel cells through the gasification process.