With the processes in place, people can exchange plastic material for cash, digital currency, healthcare coverage, school tuition, and more. Collected plastic is then recycled into new products.
There is also a Plastic Bank bonus to ensure both full and part-time recyclers are guaranteed a living wage.
Kureethadam said he likes the initiative because "they see the justice aspect of it... they are empowering poor communities."
"The real momentum is coming from the grassroots, and that's how God works." He thinks "simple people, young people, poor people, they will lead the change and what we need to do is stand by them. And that's what Plastic Bank is doing."
The priest also praised another Plastic Bank initiative, that of turning discarded plastic into rosaries. This way, he said, "the same plastic which is an image of degradation becomes an instrument of prayer, it becomes holy."
The webinar will focus on stewardship of the oceans. Kureethadam explained that the oceans "are really vital for life," saying "the state of the ocean is really worrying."
He noted that plastic is just one of several big problems, and said if the ocean continues to be polluted at the same rate, it is projected that in 30 years there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
He also explained that most plastic in the ocean is no longer visible but has become "micro-plastic." This is then consumed by animals in the food chain and can make its way back to humans.
It is still being studied, but it may begin to cause cancer or other illnesses in humans, he said.
Kureethadam admitted he finds the word "environment" superficial; "scientists use it a lot, but I think it doesn't really capture the depth of what we mean by creation care."
Creation is God's creation, he emphasized. In Genesis, God tells Adam to "cultivate and take care of this garden," he said. "It is the very first commandment we have received from God."
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"We cannot afford to manipulate it or disfigure it or abuse it," he continued. "It would be a sin."
He said he thinks sometimes people overlook John 1:14: "the greatest truth of Christianity, that God became one of us, the Word became flesh, became flesh on this planet," he stated. "And we say that with the Incarnation the entire planet is sanctified."
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.