On March 15th, the Kenya government announced plans to ban use of disposable plastics for packaging, marking the third time the government had announced the ban after a similar move failed in 2007 and 2011.
Though Kenya has failed to ban the plastics repeatedly, its smaller neighbor Rwanda successfully banned the plastics on its first attempt in 2008. Whether banned or not, plastics are here to stay. Apart from disposable packages which have caused governments pain, plastics protect our food, make our cars lighter and hospitals would not run without them and reports indicate that the demand of of plastics is expected to double in the next 20 years.
However, the major problem just 14% of the plastics we use are recycled, resulting in a loss of USD 80-120 billion per year to the global economy and if nothing is done, statistics indicate in 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean.To fix this, the Circular Design Challenge, as part of the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, is seeking creatives to design solutions for plastics packaging to stay in the economy, and out of the environment. The Challenge targets innovations to disrupt sauce and shampoo sachets, wrappers and tear-offs, straws, take-away coffee cup lids and bottle caps.
The Circular Design Challenge, led by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation and hosted by OpenIDEO, is calling upon a global community to submit ideas, innovations, and new technologies with the potential to transform the plastics economy.Participants are encouraged to collaboratively share data, stories and insights during the Research Phase, and post solutions and share prototypes during the Ideas Phase. Early-Stage Ideas are open for up to ten awards of $10,000 each, the Mid-Stage Ideas category is open to three awards of $100,000 each while the Advanced Ideas is open to up to three awards of $200,000 each.You can get more information here.