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18 zero-waste innovations brewing in circular economy hackathon

Out of 41 applications, 18 teams were selected to participate in the Wala Usik Challenge: A Circular Economy Hackathon to be held at an online platform on 27-30 August 2021.

The top 18 Wala Usik ‘hacks’ or circular innovations submitted by the Challengers range from apps and platforms which use artificial intelligence and machine learning to calculate a person’s carbon footprint, promote circular fashion, and make recycling easier – to alternative packaging materials produced from agricultural waste such as rice hulls, sugar bagasse and corn husks. Circular systems, markets and vendors which encourage refilling and reusable bags and containers, and which support local and sustainable businesses, are also in the spotlight.

The Hackathon will provide mentoring sessions and technical guidance on circular economy, for the 18 teams as they prepare to pitch their innovations which (1) design out waste and pollution, (2) keep materials in use, and (3) regenerate natural resources. On 30 August 2021, at the end of the Hackathon, the Top 5 teams will each receive an equity-free seed fund of Php 100,000 and technical support to “Rethink and Redesign” their business plans.

Wala Usik Challenge: A Circular Economy Hackathon is building a network of advocates, ideators, entrepreneurs and innovators working towards sustainability and a localized circular economy. In the process, it also hopes to inspire consumers and the general public to support “Wala Usik”, a Hiligaynon/Bisaya phrase for circular design where ‘nothing is wasted’ and our natural ecosystems are thriving.

This hackathon is organized by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) for the ‘Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ project, co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ and Expertise France.

The virtual events are in collaboration with the Design Thinking Factory, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), Association of Negros Producers (ANP), Circulo, Save Philippine Seas, and the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College-DTI Negros Occidental Center for DELIGHT (Design, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation, Good Ideas, Human
Development and Technology Transfer).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, amongst 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.

It is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Expertise France. Partner countries are China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam as well as Japan and Singapore for selected topics. More information can be found at: https://beatplasticpollution.eu/rethinking-plastics

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