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Circular Design Evaluation Criteria


Submitted Ideas to the Circular Design Challenge will be evaluated by an experienced Judging Panel according to the following criteria:

Circular Economy for Plastics: Does the proposed solution enable the elimination of non-recyclable small-format plastics waste? We look for Ideas that seek to reduce, not add, complexity in the system. To this end, relevant indicators include:

  • the amount of non-recycled plastics waste the solution could potentially reduce compared to incumbent solutions, by redesigning packaging formats and/or delivery models that enables packaging recycling, or by redesigning delivery models that reduce the creation of packaging waste.
  • other positive impacts, or the elimination of negative impacts on the environment.
  • if the solution is feasible to implement, e.g. whether it is based on available technology or needs materials / technology not yet developed, and whether it relies on support systems such as collection / recycling infrastructure.
  • if other potential unintended consequences, such as excessive resource use or waste creation elsewhere in the value chain, are avoided.

Innovative: Is the Idea new and unique? We're eager to think beyond current conventional wisdom about plastics packaging and explore new ways to deliver value to customers without ending up with packaging waste that cannot be recycled.

Human Centered: This is at the heart of the Design Thinking approach. We look for ideas that lead with empathy – showing evidence of prototyping solutions and incorporating user and market feedback. To this end, relevant indicators include:

  • how the Idea addresses one – or several – of the target Use Cases in the Challenge
  • how well the Idea is poised to make life easier for users.

Scalable: How well could the solution be scaled up? Starting small and local is often an essential need, but participants are also asked to describe how they anticipate their idea to be applied at scale, geographically as well as operationally. We look for mindfulness of the complexity in the packaging space and ideas which might adapt as they grow. To this end, relevant indicators include:

  • the potential market size addressed by the solution;
  • an estimated long-term economic potential of the idea;
  • how the idea compares to conventional solutions for the same use case(s).

Regionally Relevant: Does the Idea solve a real local problem on the ground? We are mindful that while there are several great innovations that are universally applicable, there are significant regional differences influencing local plastic material flows. The participants should therefore be able to convincingly show what kind(s) of regional problem(s) their solutions are able to solve. It is beneficial, though not a requirement, if the idea can be applied in multiple regional settings.

Accelerator Readiness: How would your idea benefit from a 12-month accelerator program, and how do you anticipate it to grow beyond that? Top Ideas are expected to provide a compelling outline of how to use the award and how the Phase 2 accelerator, together with corporate mentorship, could be used to advance the solution.