In an article published on February 12, 2019 by news provider Greener Package, reporter Anne Marie Mohan informs about the start of the “Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge” launched by National Geographic and Ocean Sky Ventures.  The challenge “asks problem solvers from around the globe to develop novel solutions to tackle the world’s plastic waste crisis.” The call is organized into three distinct “tracks”:

  • The “Design Track challenges teams to identify pragmatic, investable solutions to improve food and beverage packaging and containers.”
  • The “Circular Economy Track challenges teams to develop scalable business models and technology solutions, applicable across industries, to reduce plastic packaging waste and encourage the reuse and repurposing of plastic alternatives instead of discarding them after one use.”
  • The “Data Visualization Track challenges teams to represent a relevant, credible data set related to the global challenge of plastic waste as a data visualization. ”

Within the Design Track, there is a special focus that “asks teams to develop new food packaging solutions, including food wrappers and containers.” The rules specifically mention that any new packaging must be made from “a single, easily recycled material without additives, colorants, or adhesives that hinder recycling and without exacerbating pollution through the creation of microplastics.” Extra points will be awarded “for solutions that include technology or design elements to facilitate sorting and recycling, or that include post-consumer recycled material.”

The challenge offers the chance to compete for aggregate prizes of up to $500,000, with qualifying teams having a chance to receive a minimum of $1 million in aggregate investment to further develop and implement their ideas. The initial deadline for submissions is June 11, 2019, and the winners among the finalists will be announced in December 2019.

Read more

Anne Marie Mohan (February 12, 2019). “Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge seeks solutions to single-use plastics.Greener Package

National Geographic (February 2019). “Innovation Challenge Ocean Plastic.”

Libby White (February 28, 2019). “Are alternatives to single-use plastics the answer?Packaging Europe