The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) has officially launched the Protective Packaging Design Challenge, an open competition for entrepreneurs and start-ups to submit new ideas for sustainable protective packaging solutions.

Protective packaging is critical to protecting products during transport, but oftentimes uses significant material that is non-recyclable or from unsustainable sources. Few solutions exist that can safely transport items in complex retail environments that also embody excellence in sustainability. The Challenge aims to uncover and showcase solutions that can be scaled for this packaging pain point. The scope includes all systems used for transport of products, with a focus on packaging that can protect different product types and address multiple environmental impacts.

“We’ve seen tremendous innovation in protective packaging and we’re excited to see what new developments are coming,” said Adam Gendell, associate director, SPC. “Brand owners and retailers are hungry for new solutions.”

SPC’s co-host partner Ubuntoo is an Environmental Solutions Platform, hosting more than 700 solutions to plastic pollution, textile and food waste.Their expertise in entrepreneurship and challenges facing the packaging industry make them a great partner for SPC on this Challenge.

The Challenge also includes other partners. Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm focused on building the circular economy, is joining as an Associate Partner. The Retail Innovation Center at the Retail Industry Leader Association (RILA) helps connect retailers to innovators, and is also joining the group as an Affiliate Partner.

Challenge judges include experts from the SPC, Closed Loop Partners and academia. This year’s Challenge will also feature a group of advisors who represent the end-users of protective packaging from key sectors, including Amazon Packaging Lab, West Elm, Lowe's, Wayfair and RILA.

Submissions will be accepted from October 14, 2019 until January 17, 2020. Participation is open to any innovators with pilot-ready solutions. Finalists are invited to present on the main stage at SPC Impact in Austin, TX on April 2, 2019, and three final winners receive one year of SPC membership and a promotional campaign by SPC and Challenge partners.

Learn more about the Protective Packaging Design Challenge here