We have all probably seen the Sky News coverage of the global impact of plastic waste on the Oceans and Shores. But other than cutting down usage what else can we do? Well good design may have the answer.
A new £1.5 million competition has been launched, which looks to redesign plastic packaging with the aim of reducing pollution to the world’s seas and oceans.
The New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize is a $2 million (£1.5 million) competition set up by British recycling charity The Ellen MacArthur Foundation alongside The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation calculates that just 14% of plastic packaging is currently collected for recycling worldwide. The foundation adds that, if recycling does not improve, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
The competition is comprised of two separate challenges, based on packaging design and the materials used.
The first challenge, sponsored by OpenIDEO, is seeking for solutions on packaging for every day, small-sized consumer products – such as coffee cup lids, straws and food wrappers – redesigned to be either reusable, or easier to recycle.
The second challenge, sponsored by NineSigma, is looking for applicants to think of alternative materials that could be used in packaging, which are either recyclable or compostable.
Approximately 11 winners will be chosen across the two challenges, who will each receive up to $200,000 (£154,000) in grants to make their ideas reality. They will also receive exposure to businesses, innovators and the public, as well as being part of a 12-month accelerator programme with access to industry advice, feedback and laboratories for testing and development.
The judging panel is composed of senior staff from businesses, scientists, designers and academics.
Learn more about the contest at the New Plastics Economy website.