Circular Plastics Case Competition to be broadcast during NPE2024
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The competition will prompt participants to explore how to increase the supply of recycled PET and/or recycled polyethylene.
Global industrial company Hillenbrand Inc., the Coca-Cola Co., and nonprofit membership organization Net Impact are hosting the second Circular Plastics Case Competition for designing solutions that help keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment – and the finalists will make virtual presentations at a showcase to be broadcast during the upcoming NPE2024 trade show.
This year, the case competition will prompt participants to explore how to increase the supply of recycled PET (rPET) and/or recycled polyethylene.
Submissions are due in March. The first-place winner will be awarded US$10,000, followed by US$2,500 for second place, and US$1,000 for third place.
“Plastics are essential to our economy and will continue to play an important role in our future, making it crucial to concentrate on enhancing sustainability within the plastics value chain,” said Hillenbrand president and CEO Kim Ryan. “rPET is an appealing material because it can significantly reduce the carbon footprint in comparison to creating new plastic, and it can be recycled and transformed into other products throughout its lifespan. We initiated this competition to engage the next generation to think creatively and develop solutions that promote a circular plastics economy.”
Hillenbrand and Net Impact developed the Circular Plastics Case Competition concept in 2022 and held the first competition in Spring 2023 to engage future leaders in reshaping the responsible lifecycle management of plastics. In a Jan. 29 statement, Hillenbrand and Coca-Cola officials said they will guide the topic and goals of the competition, and Net Impact will facilitate the competition by bringing together its global network of social impact and sustainability leaders to address the challenge.
“The conversation around making a circular economy for plastics is dynamic and incredibly exciting, and this program brings emerging professionals into that conversation by allowing them to grapple first-hand with the complex questions that sustainability practitioners are facing today,” Karen Johns, CEO of Net Impact, said. “Program participants will learn about material circularity, life cycle analysis, and responsible supply chain management and learn to think like a sustainability manager at a large corporation today.”
More information about the 2024 Circular Plastics Case Competition, including participant applications, can be found at netimpact.org/programs/circular-plastics-challenge.
NPE2024 will take place May 6-10 in Orlando, Fla.