Hillenbrand, Coca-Cola, Net Impact: 2nd Plastic Contest
Hillenbrand, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, and Net Impact are teaming up again for the second Circular Plastics Case Competition.
This event encourages emerging professionals to rethink how we use plastics and develop smart ideas to keep them in use and out of the environment.
The competition, designed to promote fresh ideas and sustainability, invites participants to work together and come up with practical solutions to increase the supply of recycled materials from used plastics.
This year, the challenge is all about finding ways to boost the supply of recycled polyethylene (rPET), a type of plastic commonly used in packaging for food, drinks, cosmetics, and household items. By focusing on turning used plastic into rPET, we can make better use of what we already have and tackle the challenge of not having enough recycled material to meet demand.
Participants can submit their ideas until March, and the finalists will present their thoughts in May during a showcase broadcast during NPE®, a global event with leaders from various industries. The first-place winner gets $10,000, second place gets $2,500, and third place gets $1,000.
Kim Ryan, President and CEO of Hillenbrand stresses the importance of thinking about sustainability in how we use plastic and highlights rPET as a great option that reduces carbon footprints and can be recycled into different products.
The Circular Plastics Case Competition started in 2022 and had its first event in Spring 2023. It aims to get future leaders thinking about better ways to manage plastics. With over 1,30,000 members worldwide, Net Impact plays a big role in inspiring and equipping emerging leaders to tackle social and environmental challenges through business.
Hillenbrand and Coca-Cola guide the competition's focus, and Net Impact brings in its network of leaders to address the challenge. Karen Johns, CEO of Net Impact, sees the programme as a chance for participants to deal with real sustainability questions and learn about practical aspects like material circularity and responsible supply chain management.
“We are excited to once again collaborate with Hillenbrand and Net Impact in hosting the second Circular Plastics Case Competition. Last year’s event was truly inspiring, providing a platform for emerging business professionals to re-imagine the plastics value chain and develop forward-thinking solutions that keep plastics in circulation,” said Kurt Ritter, Vice President & General Manager, Sustainability, Coca-Cola North America. “By focusing this year's challenge on rPET, we hope to unearth innovative strategies to increase the supply and overcome the present restraints. This competition symbolises our commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability, and I am confident that the unique perspectives and resourceful ideas of the participants will help us advance a more circular and sustainable economy.”
To learn more about the 2024 Circular Plastics Case Competition and apply, visit netimpact.org/programs/circular-plastics-challenge.