Hillenbrand, the Coca-Cola Company and Net Impact are hosting the second Circular Plastics Case Competition, which encourages emerging business professionals to rethink the plastics value chain by designing solutions that help keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment.

The competition invites participants to collaborate and generate ideas to increase the supply of post-consumer recycled material. In 2024, the competition will prompt participants to explore how to increase the supply of rPET (recycled polyethylene).

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Submissions are due in March, and in May, finalists will present virtually at a showcase that will be broadcast during NPE2024, [the National Plastics Exposition], a plastics tradeshow held in Florida, US.

The winner will be awarded $10,000, followed by $2,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place.

Hillenbrand and Net Impact developed the Circular Plastics Case Competition concept in 2022 and held the first competition in the spring of 2023.

Hillenbrand and Coca-Cola will guide its topic and goals, and Net Impact will bring together its global network of social impact and sustainability leaders to address the challenge.

Coca‑Cola North America vice-president and general manager of sustainability Kurt Ritter commented: “By focusing this year’s challenge on rPET, we hope to unearth innovative strategies to increase the supply and overcome the present restraints.”

Net Impact CEO Karen Johns added: “Programme participants will learn about material circularity, life cycle analysis and responsible supply chain management, and learn to think like a sustainability manager at a large corporation today.”