Eco-Challenge 12.0 promotes a new vision of plastic and contributes to a sustainable future in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Eco-Challenge 12.0, we seek to identify scalable and sustainable solutions that will allow the industry and the consumer to go beyond the traditional use of plastic, and to build a world in which this material does not become waste. All this through the reduction, reuse, recycling and reinvention of it.
In order to achieve these objectives, the program aims to work with young innovators and entrepreneurs from the OAS Member States developing innovative solutions that address the priorities of reinventing and recycling the use of PET, and to strengthen the consumer engagement in developing actions that will support the plastic circular economy.
The Eco-Challenge 12.0 will have two award categories:
Reinvent: Beyond the Bottle: To develop innovative solutions and new technologies focused on creating alternative packaging material that is recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable to replace or reduce the use of traditional plastic bottles (PET).
Recycle and Reuse: Support the circular economy of plastic by developing tools, strategies, and programs that will allow for the increase of scalable recycling channels, and to create different post-consumer uses for each package, allowing them to be introduced back into the market.
InnovAction presents four competition categories (“Categories”) within which Teams shall compete. Upon submission of their Competition Materials, Teams designate their submission as addressing one of the following Categories:
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated already high levels of inequality in Latin America, particularly for young people and marginalized populations, further restricting access to education, healthcare, employment, and other social goods. This category will focus on innovative solutions and initiatives that address structural inequality and promote equitable access to opportunities for people regardless of their age, background, race, or other characteristics by promoting measures that support individuals and communities during the pandemic and provide increased resilience in future crises.
According to the Inter-American Commission of Women of the Organization of American States, COVID-19 has deepened previous gender inequalities: women are exiting the workforce at higher rates than men due to pre-existing wage and income disparities. Women employed outside the home and women working in the home face increased time burdens as they disproportionately take on non-remunerated responsibilities as caregivers for both children and elders. This category will focus on innovative solutions that support women’s broader social inclusion, including through their greater economic empowerment, improved equity in caregiving and other domestic responsibilities, expanded access to leadership and/or entrepreneurship opportunities, among others.
COVID-19 poses a threat to democratic progress by increasing the difficulty and risk to citizens interested in engaging in civic processes and duties. This category will focus on innovative solutions that support civic engagement and community participation in the social and political arena, as well as those that promote a more inclusive and higher participation of young people and other underserved groups in political and decision-making processes.
Many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have shuttered as a result of the pandemic, with some industries such as agriculture, tourism, retail, the creative industries, and others that are dominated by MSMEs particularly hard-hit. This category will focus on innovative solutions that accelerate the revival of MSMEs in highly-affected sectors by providing tools, networks, and support services that will allow them to adapt to new realities and strengthen their participation in markets.