Alliance To End Plastic Waste Offers $3 Million Prize

Put your money where your mouth is, the saying goes. the Alliance to end plastic waste targeted “soft plastic packaging waste” with a $3 million prize for solutions to solve what organizers say is one of the most difficult types of materials to process and recycle.

Flexible plastic packaging refers to items in the form of films, pouches and pouches that are generally soft and (as the name suggests) flexible, says Martyn Tickner, the alliance’s chief advisor for circular solutions. .

“These make up about 45% of the plastics used in packaging, compared to rigid items such as food containers, bottles, trays and boxes.”

This is the first global award of its kind offered by the non-profit alliance. It’s also one of the biggest prizes offered to accelerate solutions that advance circularity for flexible plastics, says Tickner.

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An even bigger project aims to raise $500 million this year to target plastic waste as an investment opportunity. The alliance is working with Lombard Odier Investment Managers to launch the new fund. The money will go towards “scalable solutions to remove plastic waste from the environment, increase recycling and drive the global transition to a circular economy for the plastics value chain”. the organizers said in a press release.

The next $3 million prize will go to a single winner in January 2023.

“We focus on waste generated by households such as plastic bags, food and consumer goods packaging, shampoo and cosmetic sachets, stand-up sachets of pet food and detergent”, explains Tickner.

“These are often multi-layered materials comprising a combination of different plastics, papers or aluminum foils designed to be practical and to protect the contents, in particular by improving food safety and shelf life.

“Important developments are underway to simplify and/or recycle these objects without compromising their protective function, but they remain difficult to collect, sort and transport efficiently.

“Therefore, we aim to inspire innovators around the world to come up with the best possible and most circular solutions that can be quickly adopted by industry and society.”

A recent report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation notes that flexible packaging is the fastest growing category of plastic packaging. But companies accounting for more than 20% of global plastic packaging use have set 2025 targets to “eliminate the plastic we don’t need, innovate new materials and business models, and move everything plastic we use. the $3 million prize is a movement to support this effort.

Beyond cash, the winner will also gain access to mentorship and expertise from across the plastics value chain, as well as exposure to potential supporters or investors, organizers say.

“…We believe that the most promising proposals will attract support from companies in the sector,” says Tickner.

“In addition to ideas and advice, attendees will receive feedback from our panel of esteemed judges industry, the investment community, civil society and academia.

These include representatives from brands such as PepsiCo, industry and associations such as Dow, as well as civil society and development finance institutions such as the Recycling Partnership.

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Applicants’ proposals will be ranked according to a scoring grid with criteria including diversity of solution type, geographic diversity and feasibility.

The cash prize is intended to help the winner achieve commercial viability and grow rapidly over the next few years.

Finalists will have the opportunity to strengthen and refine their solutions as they implement projects and obtain other sources of funding, according to the alliance.

Registration is open until July 26 on

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste includes a portfolio of over 35 projects in 29 countries around the world. Its network includes more than 90 industry leaders across the plastics value chain, as well as government, civil society, entrepreneurs and communities.

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