How can consumers, businesses and governments in Latin America and the Caribbean substantially reduce or eliminate plastic waste and single-use plastic?

Plastics have proven to be one of the most important industrial innovations in the world, changing industries worldwide, from medicine to food, making it so ubiquitous in our daily lives. However, plastics have also had enormous adverse impacts on human and environmental health. The use of hydrocarbons for the production of plastics is the second largest and fastest growing contributor to industrial emissions of greenhouse gases, the main driver of climate change. Every minute one million single-use plastic bottles are purchased worldwide, and 5 billion single-use plastic bags are used each year. Only a small fraction of these plastics are finally recovered, and most end up in our natural environment. As such, plastic waste filters toxic chemicals into freshwater supplies, soil and marine ecosystems.

In several countries in the region, sales bans and taxes on plastic bags in the retail trade have led to reductions in the use of plastic; innovative methods to encourage recycling have increased the recycling rate in communities; and mobile phone applications help people dispose of garbage in areas without formal waste collection services. While these efforts are already promising steps, the region is well placed to develop and implement new practices to substantially reduce or eliminate plastic waste.

To reduce or eliminate the production of single-use plastic and plastic waste in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank is seeking innovative solutions that:

  • They move business models away from the use of plastics in packaging and transport;
  • Reduce waste and single-use plastics by promoting consumer behaviour change and encouraging reuse and recycling;
  • They enable the public sector, especially municipalities, to test and implement new and innovative systems in their waste management systems.
Rethink Plastics Challenge Cash Awards

The Challenge offers cash awards totaling US$60,000, including a first prize of US$30,000. In addition, winning solutions could be considered for a pilot project funded by the IDB Group up to $250,000, subject to due diligence and corresponding internal approvals.

Application deadline: January 14, 2020, 23:59 Est.

For more information visit the official site Here

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