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Jul 27

Call: OpenIDEO The Circular Design Challenge


Event Details

Love them or hate them, plastics are everywhere around us. They protect our food, make our cars lighter and hospitals would not run without them. In fact plastics are so useful, their demand is expected to double in the next 20 years. Yet our plastics system is broken. Only 14% is recycled, resulting in a loss of USD 80-120 billion per year to the global economy. Did you know that most plastic items are used only once before being discarded?

If nothing changes, there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.

So, how do we fix this? If we want to free our ocean from plastics, we have to fundamentally rethink the way we make, use and re-use plastics so that they don’t become waste in the first place.

The Circular Design Challenge seeks to inspire creatives to design solutions for plastics packaging to stay in the economy, and out of the environment.

As part of the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, the Circular Design Challenge asks the question:

How might we get products to people without generating plastic waste?

The Circular Design Challenge seeks to catalyse innovation and help to advance the development of new packaging formats and/or delivery models that can be alternatives to the ones used today. The Challenge targets small-format items – which make up 10% of all plastic packaging – and include things like sauce and shampoo sachets, wrappers and tear-offs, straws, take-away coffee cup lids and bottle caps. These items generally don’t get recycled, either because they are so light and small they get filtered out in automated sorting processes, or because they are not worth the effort to be collected and sorted manually.


Submitted ideas to the Circular Design Challenge will be evaluated by an experienced Judging Panel according to the following criteria:

  • Circular economy for plastics: Does the proposed solution enable the elimination of non-recyclable small-format plastics waste?
  • Innovative: Is the idea new and unique?
  • Human Centered: Is the idea poised to make life easier for users?
  • Scalable: How well could the idea be accelerated and scaled up?
  • Regionally relevant: Does the idea solve a real local problem on the ground?

For a full description please see our Evaluation Criteria page.

The When

July 27, 2017
July 28, 2017

The Where


The Who

The Where


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