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Alliance To End Plastic Waste Offers Up $3 Million Prize


Sustainability Alliance To End Plastic Waste Offers Up $3 Million Prize Jeff Kart Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. May 20, 2022, 02:00pm EDT | Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Packaging items such as plastic bags, films, sachets and wrappers make up as much as 45% of the … [+] waste generated in households, according to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. getty Put your money where your mouth is, the saying goes. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste has targeted “flexible plastic packaging waste” with a $3 million prize for solutions to address what organizers say is one of the most challenging types of materials to process and recycle. Flexible plastic packaging refers to items in the form of films, sachets and pouches that are typically soft and (as the name implies) flexible, explains Martyn Tickner, the alliance’s chief advisor for circular solutions. “These represent approximately 45% of the plastics used in packaging, versus rigid items such as food containers, bottles, trays and boxes.” This is the first such global prize offered by the nonprofit alliance. It’s also one of the largest prizes offered to accelerate solutions that advance circularity for flexible plastics, Tickner says. MORE FROM FORBES Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize Finalists Target Thin-Film Polybags By Jeff Kart An even bigger project aims to raise $500 million this year to target plastic waste as an investible opportunity. The alliance is working with Lombard Odier Investment Managers to launch the new fund. The money will go to “scalable solutions to remove plastic waste from the environment, increase recycling, and drive the global transition towards a circular economy for the plastic value chain,” organizers said in a news release . MORE FOR YOU Is Carbon Capture Another Fossil Fuel Industry Con? Sustainable Fashion Wants Brands To Redefine Business Growth Trouble With Predicting Future Of Transportation Is That Today Gets In The Way The upcoming $3 million prize will go to a single winner in January 2023. “Our focus is on household generated waste such as plastic bags, food and consumer goods wrapping, shampoo and cosmetic sachets, pet food and detergent ‘stand-up’ pouches,” Tickner explains. “These are often multi-layered materials comprising a combination of different plastics, paper or aluminum foils designed to provide convenience and protect the contents—including improving food safety and shelf-life. “Significant developments are taking place to simplify and/or recycle such items without compromising on their protective function, but they remain difficult to effectively collect, sort and transport. “Therefore, we aim to incentivize innovators across the world to surface the best possible and most circular solutions which can be rapidly adopted by the industry and society.” A recent Ellen MacArthur Foundation report notes that flexible packaging is the fastest-growing plastic packaging category. But businesses accounting for more than 20% of global plastic packaging use have set targets for 2025 to “eliminate the plastic we don’t need, innovate towards new materials and business models, and circulate all the plastic we use.” The $3 million prize is a move to support this effort. Beyond the money, the winner also will gain access to mentorship and expertise from across the plastics value chain, along with exposure to potential supporter or investors, organizers say. “… We believe the most promising proposals will attract support from companies in the industry,” Tickner says. “In addition to insights and guidance, participants will receive through the feedback of our panel of esteemed judges from industry, investment community, civil society and academia.” These include representatives from brands like PepsiCo, industry and associations such as Dow, and civil society and development financing institutions like the Recycling Partnership . MORE FROM FORBES Single-Use Plastic Used To Make Longer-Lasting Asphalt In Missouri By Jeff Kart Candidate proposals will be ranked based on a scoring rubric with criteria including diversity of solution type, geographic diversity and feasibility. The prize money aims to help the winner achieve commercial viability and scale up quickly over the next few years. Finalists will have the opportunity to strengthen and refine their solutions as they implement projects and secure other funding sources, the alliance says. Registration is open until July 26 at . The Alliance to End Plastic Waste includes a portfolio of more than 35 projects across 29 countries worldwide. Its network includes more than 90 industry leaders across the plastics value chain, together with government, civil society, entrepreneurs and communities. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn . Check out my website . Jeff Kart Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions

From: forbes

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