An open challenge to creative minds: Can you #HackThePackaging at the Wala Usik Challenge 2022?

PRRCFI photo

Calling all puzzle solvers—do you have a big idea to help to take the waste out of packaging, and packaging out of waste? Enter the Wala Usik Challenge 2022: #HackThePackaging—a virtual hackathon organized by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI)—to help solve the global plastic pollution problem and be a part of the next generation of creatives and innovators working towards a circular economy. In the Philippines, the local phrase “Wala Usik” means “nothing is wasted.”

This hackathon is an initiative under 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.

In a circular economy, resources are used and managed in a more efficient and sustainable way through the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. With this, materials and resources are returned back to the economy and used again for as long as possible.

The event is free and open to anyone from the 7 countries in the Rethinking Plastics project: China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The hackathon will be accepting entries from 9 February to 9 March 2022, at:

“We’re gamifying the processes of learning and applying circular design, and as an output, we hope to reach even more creative minds with an open-source magazine-catalog (or magalog) of packaging solutions,” says Dave Albao, Executive Director, PRRCFI.

“We literally have to think out of the box, in generating design ideas for packaging that will reduce single-use plastics and other polluting materials in food delivery and takeaway, e-commerce shipping, and retail of fast-moving consumer goods.”

A shortlist of 30 individuals or teams will be chosen to participate in a circular design workshop with thought leaders in sustainability. Only 15 finalists will make it to the Hack Dates in April 2022 and unlock the next levels in a virtual 3-day rapid design thinking process, supported by mentors to ideate and prototype the final #HackThePackaging pitches.

The best ideas will be awarded with up to 1,000 EU each, and all generated concepts may be visualized in an open-source Magalog for Circular Packaging Design Ideas to inspire everyday circular thinking and future business ventures in the circular economy.

Ready? Let’s play
Ideating for this hackathon is meant to be a fun, creative, and collaborative learning experience—but like any game, there are rules to follow: ideas need to (1) design out waste and pollution, (2) keep materials in use, and (3) regenerate natural resources.

Join the Hackathon
Anyone with a creative mind can participate. In fact, the more unique your skills and talents, the better! We’re looking for designers, artists, strategists, innovators, and the like—whether your expertise is science, fashion, or technology, or if you are a student or professional, all we ask is for the drive to #HackThePackaging.

Submit your application by answering the form at

  • A 2-minute video on: “What does it take to #HackThePackaging?”
    Introduce yourself or your team and share your thoughts on the packaging problem and what it takes to solve it. You may briefly share initial idea(s) on how you will #HackThePackaging (having concrete ideas/solutions is not required at this point). If possible, mention your skill sets, experience or network that will be useful for your participation in the hackathon.
  • Either a 200-word note or another 2-minute video on:
    What does circular economy mean to you? Why would you like to join the challenge? What are your strengths? And/or what would you like to learn from this hackathon?
  • An optional attachment (1-page PDF) for visuals that could support your entry

The hackathon will be conducted in English, so all entries must be in this language. Individual entries may partner with a translator, and team applicants may include a translator.

A screening process will identify 30 shortlisted entries to go on to Level 2, based on how well they articulate their thought process in solving the plastic packaging problem, the quality of their answers demonstrating their potential as a circular designer. (PR)

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