We would like to begin a conversation on the relationship Precious Plastic should have with corporations. As the project grew bigger over the past years (thanks to all of you ), we keep getting more & more requests from massive corporates to collaborate, partner or work together. Coca Cola, Unilever, Gazprom, Danone, Nestle, Volkswagen, Adidas and the many more came to knock at our door in recent times.
We generally don’t really like big companies and turn down their offers.
We turn their offers down because we believe they have more effective ways to reduce their plastic waste and negative environmental impact (like going upstream in their processes and stop producing the crap in the first place, shift technologies, design better, support alternative material research etc…). We see most of this offers as plain greenwash- looking good while doing little real change.
Precious Plastic was set up as a reaction to this practices and types of businesses. Someone has to stop playing their game- it has been going on for a little too long we think.
However, letting those offers down leaves us with a few doubts.
First, as you can imagine, this offers come with good budgets. This money that could be used to push Precious Plastic research and open source community further as well as possibly help pay for our work (we mainly work on a voluntary basis or very small salaries).
Second, and most importantly, our stubbornness could be closing doors to meaningful developments of Precious Plastic.
Let’s create a fictional example to discuss the topic.
Corporate [x] contacted us to work together in India. They have XXXX € budget and would like to create 10 Precious Plastic workspaces around India within a year. XXXX€ would be used to create the workspaces, cover our costs back home, pay back expenses to people helping us out (housing + travel) and if anything left pay a little money to the core team.
As we see it:
Pros: 10 workspaces in India, budget to push Precious Plastic further, cover costs and pay people.
Cons: Precious Plastic would be used as a tool lift Corporate [x] image, Precious Plastic would be seen as supporting Corporate [x], Corporate [x] would feel like they’ve done their part preventing them from pursuing more meaningful ways of tackling their environmental footprint.
Now we throw the ball to you community:
What would be the smartest thing to do?
Anyone with previous experience or thoughts on this?