By Jay Tilles
In 2011 Mike Shinoda and two friends from Direct Relief International formed Sustainable Recycling Solutions (SRS) — an organization that pays the Haitians to collect plastic from the streets and waterways, helping the local economy and repairing the environment.
“After working with Music For Relief and Direct Relief International with the earthquake in Haiti, it was obvious to us that plastic trash has been an enduring problem there,” Shinoda told MTV last year. “We’re talking about garbage everywhere, millions of pounds of it.” SRS opened up a for-profit recycling center in Port Au Prince just over a year ago. The team refers to it as a “social business” because people want to work, they want to make things better,” says Shinoda in the clip. (Watch below)
According to Shinoda, the operation has collected over 4 million pounds of plastic, and put over 50,000 locals to work.
While in the studio recently, the band received word President Bill Clinton would be visiting SRS in Port Au Prince. Clinton had donated a grant to the operation but had never seen it in person. Jumping at the opportunity to meet him, Shinoda hopped on a plane.
In a video released today (Apr 2), Shinoda tours the President through the facility and explains just how many plastic bottles go into the making of Linkin Park’s t-shirts, jeans and backpacks. “It takes 50 bottles to make a back pack,” he says. “Then we put a tag on it that says, ’50 bottles’ so fans and consumers know a t-shirt might be ten and a backpack might be 50 and they get a sense for how much good they’re doing.'”
“Unbelievable,” was the response from Mr. Clinton.