VTT split the prize pool of one million US dollars with four other winners for solutions that tackle the urgent global microplastics problem. According to estimates, eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in oceans every year.
The plastic-like packaging material is compostable and lightweight, and combines cellulose films with different complementary properties. It could be commercialised within three to five years, according to VTT.
“In a new plastics economy, plastics will never become waste or enter the ocean in the first place,” says Dame Ellen MacArthur. “To get there will require new levels of commitment and collaboration from industry, governments, designers and startups. I hope these innovations will inspire even more progress, helping to build a system in which all plastic materials are reused, recycled or safely composted.”
The winners will also partake in a one-year New Plastic Economy Accelerator Programme, in which they will receive expert support to make their innovations marketable. The best contestant will be awarded with an additional one million-US dollar prize.