Marine plastic debris is an economic, environmental, human health and aesthetic catastrophe, posing a multi-dimensional challenge to humanity, often compared to climate change in terms of impact, breadth and complexity. A challenge of this magnitude often inspires a surge in the search for solutions from people of all backgrounds, from business and public sector, academia and research as well as the general public.
In order to accelerate the search for solutions, The Klosters Forum in partnership with Think Beyond Plastic Foundation are launching The TKF Plastics Innovation Challenge 2019 to engage innovators around the world in a solutions-oriented effort to stem the flow of plastics into our ocean.
The Innovation Challenge has THREE tracks:
1 . New materials and green chemistry to replace current fossil-fuel based plastics and toxic plastisizers. For the most innovative solution in material, technology and green chemistry capable of preventing the flow of plastic pollution into the marine environment. We will consider a range of solutions, from early stage innovations to near-market solutions that have the potential to be manufactured to scale.
2 . Waste reduction, avoidance and recycling in the reduction and or prevention of plastic pollution. For the most innovative and creative engineering solution, product design or social enterprise that will result in the reduction and or prevention of plastic pollution. Examples of product design include improved washing machine filters to reduce the influx of microplastics from textiles; packaging design to minimize unnecessary single-use plastic waste; industrial design that minimizes plastic concentration in products; and innovations in recovery and sampling techniques/tools that allow for sampling of microplastics smaller than 300 micrometers. Logistics may be part of this challenge (consumer goods).
3 . Innovative product delivery systems. For or the most creative and innovative solution for delivering consumer products without single-use packaging. Examples may include product delivery as a service, including but not limited to refillable packaging, reusable packaging, for consumer dry goods and liquid products.
1. Feasibility. Is the proposal feasible and supported by realistic cost estimates and funding models?
2. Collaborative. Does the innovation incorporate global learning and experience?
3. Environmentally Responsible. Does the innovation consider the human and environmental costs of implementation?
4. Global. Is the innovation globally relevant?
5. Proven impact. Does the innovation include a realistic impact assessment?
6. Innovative. Is the innovation unique, distinct and truly original?
7. Scalable. Is the innovation globally and / or commercially scalable?
Three winners (one per track) will each receive a prize valued at US $40,000, comprised of non-repayable US $25,000 funding and a place in the 2019 Think Beyond Plastic accelerator class valued at US $15,000.
Two honorable mentions per track.
Special awards, awarded and administered by industry or philanthropic sponsors.