The Circular Plastics Case Competition is back for a second round. Organised by non-profit organisation Net Impact in partnership with Hillenbrand Inc and The Coca-Cola Company, the competition encourages emerging business professionals to rethink the plastics value chain by designing innovative solutions that help keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment.
This year, the case competition will prompt participants to explore how to increase the supply of recycled polyethylene (rPET). The organisers hope the solutions presented will contribute to solving current rPET supply challenges due to low recycling rates, spurred by falling prices and profitability.
The deadline for submissions is March 29. Participating teams must have between two to five members and may include undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals from around the world. Existing businesses and start-ups who are currently worth or raised more than $100,000 in capital cannot participate.
Finalist teams will be paired with an expert mentor to refine their final pitch presentation before presenting virtually to a panel of experts at NPE in May. The first-place winner will be awarded $10,000, followed by $2,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place.
“We initiated this competition to engage the next generation to think creatively and develop solutions that promote a circular plastics economy,” said Kim Ryan, president and CEO of Hillenbrand. “I was inspired by the innovative ideas presented during the first challenge and am looking forward to seeing how this year’s participants build on the momentum to make an impact.
The competition’s inaugural edition asked participation to design solutions that would help keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment by using upstream innovation to reduce plastic leakage. It drew more than 50 submissions from 10 countries across the globe.
The winner was Ashaya, an Indian-based startup that is turning post- consumer multi-layer plastic typically found in packets of chips, into new products, starting with recycled sunglasses.