The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Thursday, 28 May

Plastics Policies are All at Sea - Changed Pushed by Prince and Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, together with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, have, this week ending May 19, announced the launch of the $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize.

The Prize which is funded by Wendy Schmidt as Lead Philanthropic Partner of the New Plastics Economy Initiative, calls for innovators, designers, scientist and entrepreneurs to help create packaging that keeps plastics out of the ocean.

The demand for plastics products is expected to double in the next 20 years – but the plastics system is broken. Only 14% of plastic packaging is recycled, with the remainder, worth $80-120 billion, lost as waste. Most plastic packaging items are used only once before being discarded, often ending up polluting the environment. If nothing changes, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. This new prize aims to keep plastics as valuable materials in the economy, and out of the ocean.

 

Still poor on recycling

After 40 years of effort, globally only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, with one third escaping collection and ending up in the environment. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit say better materials, clever product designs and circular business models are needed. The Prize calls for innovators, designers, scientists and entrepreneurs to help create a plastics system that works.

At a meeting earlier this year, HRH The Prince of Wales met with business leaders, designers and material experts, to emphasise the urgency of the need to re-think the global plastics system and highlighted the important role of innovation and design in the transition to a circular economy in order to stem the flow of plastics into the ocean.

 

To achieve the goal of eliminating plastic packaging waste, the Prize is composed of two parallel challenges:

  • The $1 million Circular Design Challenge which invites applicants to rethink how we can get products to people without generating plastic waste. The Challenge will focus on small-format packaging items (10% of all packaging) such as shampoo sachets, wrappers, straws and coffee cup lids, which are currently almost never recycled and often end up in the environment. Anyone with a good idea for how to get products to people without using disposable packaging can enter this Challenge partnered by OpenIDEO.
  • The $1 million Circular Materials Challenge seeks ways to make all plastic packaging recyclable. About 13% of today’s packaging, such as crisp packets and food wrappers, is made of layers of different materials fused together. This multi-layer construction provides important functions such as keeping food fresh but also makes the packaging hard to recycle. The Challenge therefore invites innovators to find alternative materials that could be recycled or composted. The Challenge partner is NineSigma.

The first winners will be announced later this year.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

Share



Related Articles

Wake-up and Smell the Environmental Coffee

British Standard for the ‘circular economy’ launched BSI, the business standards company, has launched a new standard for the ‘circular...

 Read Full Article
EIB Bankrolls Welsh Water Whizzos

Welsh Water has reached a key milestone in its drive to cut carbon emissions by ensuring that its sites across Wales and Herefordshire are now powered by green energy....

 Read Full Article
The Business Case for Sustainability

Free participative workshops for law firms and professional services to encourage organisations to develop sustainable working practices and manage their carbon footprint...

 Read Full Article
JUMP Wraps its Love Around More Locations

  After a successful pilot of the JUMP sustainability engagement programme by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), the bank is rolling it out across the UK and...

 Read Full Article
Earth Calling on Mobile Upgrades

Smartphones are leaving a disastrous environmental footprint, warns new Greenpeace report released in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress Feb 27. Smartphone...

 Read Full Article
Great Goal for Cornwall Energy Recovery

Asset expertise and Weholite technology are helping Cornwall to create a showcase waste-to-energy power plant to replace the county’s shrinking landfill...

 Read Full Article
Restaurants and Bars Slammed Over Lack of Recycling

Restaurants, bars and night clubs are the worst in the industrial and service sectors for recycling their waste, it has emerged, writes Commercial Director Mark Hall of...

 Read Full Article
Six Ways Facilities Managers Can Plan For A More Sustainable Future

In honour of Earth Day, here are six simple ways facilities managers can plan for a more sustainable future.  It’s a common misconception that making...

 Read Full Article
Wet, Wet, Wet - For Some But Not All

Many people in England will remember Autumn 2019 as a very wet season, yet this hasn’t been the case across the whole of the UK. There was significant flooding...

 Read Full Article
Acorn Sustainability Report

Acorn Engineering Group has published its first free Sustainability Report which looks at the environmental and social performance of the business over calendar year...

 Read Full Article