The Plastic Fantastic Challenge invites young entrepreneurs, industry and environmental experts to co-create game changing business concepts.
Enviu and Impact Hub have launched the Plastic Fantastic Challenge across Europe! With special events taking place in Rotterdam, Munich, Athens, London, Stockholm and Bucharest, this European Innovation Challenge kicks off in search of system changing concepts that can drastically reduce the plastic packaging waste footprint.
In a society where plastic is ubiquitous and omnipresent we are confronted with a ‘plastic paradox’. Plastic products help us protect and preserve (food) products better (and prevent food waste) and save on transportation costs (and reduce carbon emissions). On the other hand, the hazardous impact of plastic products is just as evident. Plastic waste has turned into an environmental disaster with our oceans ending up as dumpsite. According to Science, around 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year. Today, 63% of all plastic waste originates from plastic packaging, which is primarily designed for single-use.
“This issue is too big to solve on our own. In order to change a billion euro industry, we need to work together with both the industry, experts, entrepreneurs and top universities in Europe”, says Stef van Dongen, Founder and CEO of Enviu. “It will require the cooperation and co-creation of different stakeholders to come up with system changing concepts.” Gabriela Gandel, Global Managing Director at Impact Hub, shares this believe. “Collaboration across sectors and geographies is the only way to confront an issue of this magnitude. This cross-Europe challenge offers key support to entrepreneurs both on and offline, bringing great ideas forward and ensuring that the most promising are realised”.
The ocean plastic problem has never been more visible on the public agenda, probably best illustrated by Boyan Slat’s Ocean Clean Up. The inevitable political legislative process is traditionally slow, especially when a very strong lobby is influencing it. NGO programmes deal primarily with public awareness (with a tendency of being anti-plastic). And at the same time the plastic and packaging industry leaders are making pledges for a more sustainable future, but the reality is that cost is still by far the biggest driver in packaging innovation. The Plastic Fantastic Challenge is unique in its inclusive approach; inviting both plastic ‘haters’ and ‘lovers’ to work together towards sustainable solutions in order to reduce plastic waste. In short: Love Plastic, Not Waste.
Plastic Fantastic Challenge
The Plastic Fantastic Challenge is targeted at young entrepreneurs and (post-) graduate students as well as experts and professionals in industry, science and environment. However everyone can join this European open innovation competition by subscribing, sharing and contributing to the business concepts that can be posted on www.plasticfantasticchallenge.org. The call for innovative business ideas is open until December 14th 2015. In the consecutive phases of the challenge ideas are matched, teams are formed and concepts are further improved with the support of an expert community.
The best teams are rewarded with a 3-day intensive Bootcamp at a central location in Europe. During this Bootcamp the teams are coached and supported in perfecting their plans, before presenting them to a final jury. Final winners are awarded cash prizes and membership to their local Impact Hub for further mentoring and access to investors.