Addressing the Environmental Impact of Consumerism and Banking Technology: Plastic and Dollars


As Earth Day 2024 unfolds, the digital sphere is already buzzing with early morning posts on LinkedIn commemorating the occasion.

This year’s Earth Day theme, “planet vs plastics,” championed by, calls for a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 and heightened awareness of the health risks associated with plastic consumption.

Growing up in the pristine environment of Fiji, I witnessed the untouched beauty of nature firsthand. However, over the past four decades, the proliferation of plastic pollution has tarnished many once-pristine landscapes, including the surrounding islands’ magnificent reefs.

The environmental impact of plastic extends far beyond aesthetics, posing threats through entanglement, ingestion, and chemical pollution. Harmful chemicals present in plastics can leach into water sources, affecting marine life and entering the human food chain.

So how did we find ourselves in a situation where plastic threatens to outnumber fish in one generation?

The history of plastic dates back to the 19th century, with the invention of semi-synthetic and fully synthetic plastics. While plastic has undoubtedly revolutionized modern society, its widespread usage has led to environmental devastation, necessitating urgent action.

Plastic’s integral role in modern life cannot be overstated. However, its ubiquity has also fueled consumerism, resulting in widespread plastic pollution.

While recycling efforts offer some respite, the reality is stark: only a fraction of plastics produced are recyclable, with the majority ending up in landfills or polluting natural habitats.

According to Tony Worby, chief scientist for the Minderoo Foundation, projections indicate that plastic waste is on track to almost triple by 2060, underscoring the urgency of the issue.

The parallels between the plastics industry and the world of finance are striking. Both have spurred significant societal changes, enabling consumerism and global trade. However, like plastics, banking technology has the potential to pollute, with massive energy and water consumption.

As technology becomes increasingly embedded and intelligent, the need to minimize environmental impact becomes paramount. Now is the time for the banking technology sector to prioritize sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Eric Zie’s decarbonization framework offers a roadmap for businesses to reduce energy and water consumption and lower their carbon footprint.

Banking technology has the potential to make a significant difference in combating environmental degradation. It is imperative that the industry embraces a more planet-friendly approach, ensuring that banking technology follows a path that is kinder to the planet than plastic.