College students challenged to rethink plastic in global competition

College students challenged to rethink plastic in global competition
September 9, 2020 Innovation, World Cup 0 comments

Enactus launched a challenge to university and college students worldwide to rethink plastic use, recycling and disposal today during Enactus World Cup 2020.

Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Dell and Hi-Cone, the new competition seeks to motivate 72,000 Enactus students to bring creative new thinking to devise improvements to current practices.

The launch at the digital Enactus World Cup included a panel discussion with the sponsoring companies and industry experts, including Ben Jordan, Senior Director, Environmental Policy Global Policy & Sustainability with The Coca-Cola Company and Jennifer Perr, Sustainability Director with Hi-Cone Worldwide.

Plastics are ubiquitous, having proven to be among the world’s most important industrial innovations, changing industries from food to healthcare and consumer goods. However, most plastic packaging is used only once, and 95 percent of plastic packaging material – estimated to be worth US$80-$120 billion annually – simply becomes trash, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Thus, a move from single use to reuse of plastic not only helps eliminate plastic waste and pollution but can offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other negative impacts.

“We are thrilled to support Enactus NextGen Leaders, who share our commitment to prevent plastic waste and find sustainable solutions that can advance a circular model of consumption and production,” said Shawn Welch, Vice President and General Manager of Hi-Cone Worldwide, a minimal multi-packaging solution for global beverage brands. “As a multi-packaging solutions company, innovation and sustainability are at the core of everything we do. We are always looking for fresh ideas and alternative perspectives. The Enactus Race to Rethink Plastic provides a platform for young inventors and entrepreneurs to do just that – share their passion, creativity and innovative solutions.”

“The Coca-Cola Company is committed to our World Without Waste initiative, which we introduced in 2018. We are making strong progress towards our goals and are fundamentally rethinking how we get our product into the hands of consumers,” said Elaine Bowers Coventry, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, The Coca-Cola Company and Enactus Board Member. “Supporting the Enactus Race to Rethink Plastic allows us to tap into the entrepreneurship and creativity of the thousands of Enactus student leaders from around the world. These young entrepreneurs are driving change and offering impactful solutions that will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

Enactus, a network of global business, academic and student leaders unified by a vision to create a better, more sustainable world, operates the largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. The organization has an established track record of addressing plastic issues with its 1 Race 4 Oceans. In the first year, 1 Race 4 Oceans projects have directly impacted 73,025 and indirectly impacted 892,824 people. 1 Race 4 Oceans student projects created 128 businesses, 738 jobs and nearly $9.5M in new revenue streams while reducing more than 120,000 kilograms of waste, including plastic.

As part of the Enactus model, more than 72,000 students in 35+ countries create businesses that address the global goals. Students compete on the positive impact created through their work at national competitions; from September 8 to 11, Enactus national champion teams are competing on a virtual, global stage at Enactus World Cup 2020.

To learn more about the Race to Rethink Plastic powered by Enactus, visit enactus.org/plastic