Ecodesign Challenge stimulates ideas to tackle the plastic soup | Flanders Marine Institute

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Ecodesign Challenge stimulates ideas to tackle the plastic soup

Added on 2017-10-16
How can we get rid of the plastic soup? One hundred and forty students tried to answer this question during the OVAM Ecodesign Challenge 2017, a 2-day event at which students brainstormed on a creative solution for a challenge posed by OVAM.

Photo: OVAM

The plastic soup is the huge expanse of plastic in our ocean. It is growing day by day and the scale at which it takes place is of unseen dimensions. Millions of tons of discarded plastic is floating in our ocean, threatening a large part of the marine life and affecting different levels of our food chains. If the current trend continues, experts expect that by the year 2025 one ton of plastic will be collected for every three tons of fish caught.

In order to overcome the plastic soup problem, we have to address it at different levels: we have to avoid that plastic ends up in streams and the ocean, and we have to remove the plastic that is yet present.

During the Ecodesign Challenge, 21 teams of students in Product Development (University of Antwerp) and Idea & Innovation Management (Erasmus University College Brussels) brainstormed on the possibilities to overcome this global problem by looking at innovation and design. On day 1, the teams (each with a playful name), supported by a group of experts, came up with a solution. On day 2, the teams presented their ideas to a professional jury, of which VLIZ was part. The winning team (‘Team Redder’) convinced the jury with their project ‘NoPac’, a step-by-step guide for supermarkets to develop zero-package shopping islands.


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