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Monday, June 14, 2021
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Challenge launched for entreps to pitch circular business ideas

BACOLOD. The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. and its partner organizations urge social entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators are urged to pitch business ideas on reducing single-use and non-biodegradable waste at this year's "Wala Usik Challenge: A Circular Economy Hackathon." (Contributed photo)

SOCIAL entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators are urged to pitch business ideas on reducing single-use and non-biodegradable waste at the "Wala Usik Challenge: A Circular Economy Hackathon."

The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PRRCFI), in a press statement Friday, May 7, 2021, said teams with the most innovative concepts will each receive a P100,000 prize.

They will also have mentoring from industry and sustainability experts in a three-month incubation program to further firm up their business plans and make their ideas operational.

The hackathon started accepting applications on Earth Day 2021, searching for 15 teams to "hack wala usik" and pitch innovative, early-stage concepts of circular products, packaging and systems.

Examples of circular ideas included products made of native, local and naturally compostable materials, alternative packagings like bioplastics and edible wraps, refilling or reuse business models, voluntary deposit return schemes, and even applications (apps) or web-based platforms.

The PRRCFI said circular business ideas should have three priorities such as design out waste and pollution; keep materials in use; and regenerate natural resources.

This circular design is expressed in the Hiligaynon phrase "wala usik," which means "nothing is wasted" and ecosystems are thriving, it added.

Deadline for applications is on July 23 this year, and the four-day virtual event leading up to the pitch is from August 13 to 16.

Complete details, eligibility requirements, criteria for selection, and the online application form is available at www.prrcf.org/walausikchallenge.

The hackathon is organized by the PRRCFI for the "Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter" project.

It is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by GIZ and Expertise France.

Hosted in the cities of Bacolod and Talisay, the virtual events and the incubation program are in collaboration with the Design Thinking Factory, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Association of Negros Producers, Circulo, Save Philippine Seas, and Carlos Hilado Memorial State College-DTI Negros Occidental Center for DELIGHT: Design, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation, Good Ideas, Human Development and Technology Transfer.

The PRRFCI said the "Rethinking Plastics Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter" project supports a transition towards a circular economy for plastics in seven countries in East and Southeast Asia to contribute to a significant reduction of marine litter.

The project works, among others, in the areas of plastic waste management, sustainable consumption and production of plastics as well as the reduction of litter from sea-based sources to reduce plastic waste and its leakage into the sea.

Also, it is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by GIZ and Expertise France in China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

More information can be found at: https://beatplasticpollution.eu/rethinking-plastics.


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