March 5, 2019

Challenge Invites Solutions to Plastic Waste Crisis in Ocean

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

February 2019: National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures launched an ‘Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge’ that invites problem solvers to develop innovative solutions to tackle the world’s plastic waste. The competition will focus on three complementary tracks: design, circular economy and data visualization.

The one-year Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge focuses on three ways to address plastic waste: designing alternatives to single-use plastic; identifying opportunities for business and consumers to tackle plastic waste through supply chains; and communicating the need for action on plastic waste through data visualization.

The design track encourages teams to identify practical, investable solutions to improve food and beverage packaging and containers. The circular economy track asks teams to develop scalable technology solutions and business models to reduce plastic packaging waste and encourage movement away from a single-use plastic economy towards the reuse and repurposing of plastic alternatives. Solutions in this track should focus on scalable innovations and models that are applicable across industries. The data visualization track challenges teams to produce compelling visual messaging about the global plastic crisis, using a relevant, credible data set on plastic waste, to accelerate behavior change and inspire action to reduce plastic waste.

Registration for the challenge opened on 11 February 2019. Teams must submit initial proposals by 11 June 2019. Finalists will be identified on 8 July 2019. They will pitch solutions to a panel of expert judges on 9 December 2019.

The Challenge will award an aggregate prize amount of up to USD 500,000. Qualified participating teams may receive a minimum of USD 1 million in aggregate investment from Sky Ocean Ventures.

Efforts to address plastic pollution and move towards a circular economy can support progress on SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land). [Ocean Plastic Innovation Website]