PLASTICS AND ENVIRONMENT
Winners of innovation competition announced at WEF in Davos / MacArthur's programme identifies latest projects to reduce marine litter
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF, Cowes / UK; www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org) has awarded USD 200,000 (EUR 163,336) each to five winners of the "Circular Materials Challenge". The programme is backed by the environmental charity, which aims to tackle marine pollution by challenging scientists and technologists to create more environmentally-friendly plastic packaging.

Working with open innovation consultancy Nine Sigma (Cleveland, Ohio / USA; www.ninesigma.com) the foundation last year awarded USD 1m to six circular design solutions that seek to reduce plastic use, and consequently waste, as part of the "New Plastics Economic Innovation Prize". The latest winners, announced at the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF, Geneva / Switzerland; www.weforum.org), taking place from 23 to 26 January 2018, will join a 12-month scheme to bring their innovations to the market.

The winners are a team from the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia / USA; www.pitt.edu), which applied nano-engineering to create recyclable material that can replace unrecyclable multi-layered packaging; Aronax Technologies Spain (www.aronaxtech.com), which proposed a magnetic additive that renders material suitable for protecting sensitive products while remaining recyclable; a team from Full Cycle Bioplastics (Richmond, California / USA; www.fullcyclebioplastics.com), Elk Packaging (Los Angeles, California / USA; www.elkpackaging.com), and Associated Labels and Packaging (Coquitlam, British Columbia / Canada; www.associated-labels.com), which made a compostable high-performance material from renewable materials, agricultural by-products and food waste to package a range of consumer and household products; the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Espoo; www.vttresearch.com), which created a compostable multi-layer material from agricultural and forestry by-products, and finally the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research (ISC, W├╝rzburg / Germany; www.isc.fraunhofer.de), which has developed a fully-compostable coating that protects biopolymer packaging and food against premature degradation.

Ellen MacArthur, founder of the EMF, said the winning innovations "show what is possible when the principles of a circular economy are embraced." She added, "clean-ups continue to play an important role in dealing with the consequences of the waste plastic crisis, but we know we must do more."
25.01.2018 Plasteurope.com [238893-0]
Published on 25.01.2018

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