On January 23, 2018, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced the winners of its Circular Materials Challenge at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. In May 2017, the foundation had launched the New Plastics Innovation Prize, comprising the Circular Design Challenge and the Circular Materials Challenge, worth U.S. $1 million each (FPF reported).

The prize of the Circular Materials Challenge was awarded to five “new recyclable and compostable packaging solutions to stop plastics becoming waste.” The material innovations “target the lightweight, flexible packaging used for products including sauces, fresh coffee, and snacks, which is too hard or expensive to recycle because it is made of several layers of different materials.” The winners of the Circular Design Challenge were already declared in October 2017 at the Our Ocean conference in Malta. The prize was awarded to six innovators with solutions for “the 30% of plastic packaging items that are either too small or too complex to be recycled and often find their way into the ocean, for example shampoo sachets, wrappers, and coffee cup lids.” All winners will “join a 12-month accelerator program . . . [to] work with mentors and expert advisors from the plastics industry and investor community to refine their design prototypes and scale them to become marketable solutions,” the foundation informed.

In addition, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced at WEF that there are now eleven major brands, retailers, and packaging companies that have committed to “using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier.”

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New Plastics Economy (January 22, 2018). “$1 million for new materials to tackle the causes of ocean plastic pollution.

New Plastics Economy (January 22, 2018). “11 companies take major step towards a New Plastics Economy.

New Plastics Economy (January 22, 2018). “The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and TriCiclos announce new initiative to transform Chilean plastics system.

Adela Suliman (January 23, 2018). “Rising tide of innovation at Davos to keep plastic out of the sea.Thomson Reuters Foundation

Plasteurope.com (January 25, 2018). “Winners of innovation competition announced at WEF in Davos / MacArthur’s programme identifies latest projects to reduce marine litter.

Jenny Eagle (January 25, 2018). “Cup Club returnable cup aspires to be the ‘city bike rental’ equivalent of the coffee scene.Beverage Daily