Circular Design Challenge: Solutions for Plastics Packaging

Deadline: July 28, 2017

The Circular Design Challenge seeks to inspire creatives to design solutions for plastics packaging to stay in the economy, and out of the environment.

The challenge seeks to catalyze innovation and help to advance the development of new packaging formats and/or delivery models that can be alternatives to the ones used today. The Challenge targets small-format items – which make up 10% of all plastic packaging – and include things like sauce and shampoo sachets, wrappers and tear-offs, straws, take-away coffee cup lids and bottle caps. These items generally don’t get recycled, either because they are so light and small they get filtered out in automated sorting processes, or because they are not worth the effort to be collected and sorted manually.

A solution could target one or several use cases,  and could for example work by eliminating the need for small-format packaging that cannot be recycled, or where redesigned formats enable packaging that is economically viable for recycling and not prone to escape into the environment.

For this Challenge, the following solutions are not in scope:

  • Strictly end-of-pipe solutions such as novel collection systems, unless they are an integral part of a redesigned format/delivery model/system
  • Re-design of large packaging items or other packaging that is already widely recycled (even though in some regions still with low recycling rates, such as beverage bottles)

The Circular Design Challenge, led by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation and hosted by OpenIDEO, is calling upon a global community to submit ideas, innovations, and new technologies with the potential to transform the plastics economy. The Challenge is open to all individuals over the age of 18 and to all validly formed legal entities.

Cash prizes ranging $10,000 to $200,000 are available, depending on the stage of the ideas.

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