Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues and one of the greatest threats to ocean health worldwide. The problem in that plastic is not biodegradable: “plastic is almost forever”.
Every year, more than 9 million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, and if we don’t intervene, this number is expected to almost double to 17 million tons per year by 2025. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.
Most of the plastic trash in the oceans comes not only from land but is also carried by major rivers, increasing in quantity as it moves downstream.
Once at sea, much of the plastic trash remains in coastal waters. But once caught up in ocean currents, it can be transported around the world, polluting beautiful beaches, coastlines, and snorkel and dive sites worldwide, even in remote areas such as Midway Atoll.
Moreover sunlight, wind, and wave action break down plastic waste into ever-smaller particles, known as microplastics, whose environmental impacts are still being determined. They have been found in every corner of the globe, from Mount Everest, the highest peak, to the Mariana Trench, the deepest trough.
Turtles, whales, seabirds, fish, coral reefs, and countless other marine species and habitats have been impacted by plastic pollution. In fact, scientists estimate that more than half of the world’s sea turtles and fish and nearly every seabird on Earth have eaten plastic in their lifetimes. Plastic is therefore becoming dangerous for biodiversity and the survival of countless species, as well as for human health since we ingest plastic through the fish we eat. Retrieving plastic waste from the ocean is difficult, if not impossible, as once plastics break down into microplastics and drift throughout the water column in the open ocean, they are virtually impossible to recover.
Confident that it is important to start scratching the surface to find solutions that can help address the growing problem of plastic pollution in the ocean, we want to hear your solutions.
If you think you have an innovative solution to this problem, the moment to propose it has arrived!
Without widespread intervention, more than 1.3 billion tons of plastic waste will flow into the world’s oceans and land over the next two decades. At present, less than 10% of plastic is recycled worldwide and the rise in single-use plastic, which is projected to increase by 40% in the next decade, has become even more problematic during the coronavirus pandemic, with states and countries turning away from reusable products and municipalities scaling back recycling operations due to heath concerns.
Overall, plastic was responsible for 3.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. If it were a country, plastic would be the fifth-highest emitter in the world. Moreover, our ocean plays a crucial role in the water cycle and the climate system, acting as a climate regulator. It is vital that we stop this upward trend before it’s too late.
People have the power to drive the change and to support a more sustainable world!
We are looking for people who are curious and passionate about innovation and sustainability, who love change and find different ways to solve problems. People whose philosophy is that of sharing, who have a green obsession and want to make a difference.
If you are this kind of person and you are an ESCP student, send us your proposal and help us to solve this problem!
Enel is looking for solutions that can solve the problem explained above.
Important note: Enel is interested in solutions that clearly provide a leap forward as opposed to the solutions currently available on the market.
Any proposed solution should address the following Solution Requirements:
- The information provided must be clear, intuitive and useful;
- The solution must be easy to use and engaging. Enel is open to creative ways to achieve this goal. This would ideally be supported with some evidence that the desired engagement can be achieved (e.g., survey results, case studies);
- The solution must be technically feasible, cost-effective, suitable for Enel’s business, innovative and able to be tested within a few months of the close of the call;
- There should be no third-party patent articles preventing the use of specific equipment and materials.
Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements.
The proposed solutions must:
- Adhere to circularity principles;
- Be able to deal with large amounts of material, taking into account the different kinds and colors of plastics that are found in the ocean;
- Be cost-effective, taking into account the costs of a possible recycling process (LCA);
- Be feasible and simple: the steps involved in the process should be minimal;
- Consider the environmental impacts of transport and logistics on greenhouse gas emissions.
Moreover, the solution should:
- Be able to be deployed at global level;
- Enhance social sustainability by including actions for the community.
The submitted proposal should include the following:
- A detailed description of the solution to meet the Challenge;
- Rationale as to why the Applicant believes that the proposed solution will work. This rationale should be supported with relevant examples, data or other justification;
- Diagrams/sketches, references, cases studies, or any other material that supports the proposed solution;
- Two (2) short videos (a presentation of the Applicant and a presentation of the Proposal, keeping in mind that it’s possible to upload a maximum of five (5) files, not larger than 2GB each);
- Business Model Canvas according to the format supplied.
For questions about the challenge and your proposal, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Challenge contributes to the following SDGs:
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being;
- SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation;
- SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy and costs;
- SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production;
- SDG 13: Climate action;
- SDG 14: Life Below Water.