Anders Bekeken

The Circular Design Challenge by OpenIDEO

Geschreven op 19-5-2017 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Agenda, Cradle to Cradle - Circulair Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

25 January 2018: At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the support of Wendy Schmidt, lead philanthropic partner of the foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, is awarding a total of $1 million to five new recyclable and compostable packaging solutions to stop plastics becoming waste.

Clean-ups play an essential role in dealing with the symptoms of ocean plastics pollution, but they do not address the causes. They cannot keep pace with the rising tide of plastic pollution. More than 8 million tonnes of plastics enter the ocean each year, yet the three biggest clean-ups deal with just 0.5% of that volume.

To tackle the plastic pollution crisis, there is an urgent need for innovators, industry and governments to develop systemic solutions that prevent plastic from becoming waste in the first place.

That is why the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched its $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, funded by Wendy Schmidt, Lead Philanthropic Partner of the foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, and operated by challenge partner NineSigma, who helped identify potential solutions from around the world.

Combined with the necessary infrastructure, the Circular Material Challange innovations could prevent the equivalent of 100 garbage bags per second of plastic waste being created. They 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 will each receive a $200,000 share of the $1 million prize.

Together with the winners of the $1 million Circular Design Challenge these innovations will join a 12 month accelerator programme, in collaboration with Think Beyond Plastic, working with experts to make their innovations marketable at scale.

Category 1: Make unrecyclable packaging recyclable:
The University of Pittsburgh team applies nano-engineering to create a recyclable material that can replace complex multi-layered packaging that is unrecyclable. This mimics the way nature uses just a few molecular building blocks to create a huge variety of materials.

Aronax Technologies Spain proposes a magnetic additive that can be applied to a material, creating better air and moisture insulation – making it suitable to protect sensitive products such as coffee and medical products, while still being possible to recycle.

Category 2: Combining materials that nature can handle:
Working together, Full Cycle Bioplastics, Elk Packaging, and Associated Labels and Packaging make a compostable high-performance material from renewable materials, agricultural by-products and food waste to pack a broad range of products from granola bars and crisps to laundry detergent.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has created a compostable multi-layer material from agricultural and forestry by-products, which could be used for stand-up food pouches for products like muesli, nuts, dried fruit and rice.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC has developed a coating with silicate and biopolymers that can be used in many different food packaging applications protecting biopolymer packaging and food against premature degradation and is fully compostable.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “These winning innovations show what’s possible when the principles of a circular economy are embraced. Clean-ups continue to play an important role in dealing with the consequences of the waste plastic crisis, but we know we must do more. We urgently need solutions that address the root causes of the problem, not just the symptoms. In a New Plastics Economy, plastics will never become waste or enter the ocean in the first place. To get there will require new levels of commitment and collaboration from industry, governments, designers and startups. I hope these innovations will inspire even more progress, helping to build a system in which all plastic materials are reused, recycled or safely composted.”

19 May 2017: Love them or hate them, plastics are everywhere around us. They protect our food, make our cars lighter and hospitals would not run without them. In fact plastics are so useful, their demand is expected to double in the next 20 years.

Yet our plastics system is broken. Only 14% is recycled, resulting in a loss of USD 80-120 billion per year to the global economy. Did you know that most plastic items are used only once before being discarded?

If nothing changes, there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050. So, how do we fix this? If we want to free our ocean from plastics, we have to fundamentally rethink the way we make, use and re-use plastics so that they don’t become waste in the first place. That is why OpenIDEO is launching the Circular Design Challenge by asking the question: How might we get products to people without creating plastic waste?

The Circulair Design Challenge will kick off with the Research Phase, which starts today. The goal of this phase is to stimulate research, best practices, debates, and conversations in the world of circular design. Leave no stone unturned! The Ideas phase starts on June 12. 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.

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