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Global competition launched to find solutions to plastic waste

File photo dated 27/04/13 of plastic bottles. Dozens of companies have signed up to efforts to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025, it has been announced. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday April 26, 2018. Under the "UK Plastics Pact", the businesses have also agreed targets to make 100% of their plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable and to ensure 70% is effectively recycled or composted. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Plastics. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Pow/PA Wire

A global competition to back innovative solutions to help tackle the problem of single-use plastics has been launched by National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures.

The competition focuses on designing alternatives to single-use plastics, identifying ways industry can tackle plastic waste through supply chains and communicating the problem through data visualisation.

Teams can compete for a share of 1.5 million US dollars (£1.16 million) in awards and investment, and must submit solutions by June 11 for review by an expert judging panel who will announce the winners in December.

Frederic Michel, group director of impact and Sky Ocean Ventures, said: "In the last 60 seconds, another rubbish truck of plastic litter will have been dumped into our oceans, destroying the environment and killing wildlife.”

"Sky and National Geographic have the very unique opportunity and resources to help reverse the damage that is being done and help accelerate and scale up ideas."

Dr Jonathan Baillie, National Geographic Society executive vice president and chief scientist, said: "The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a tremendous opportunity to create a global community of problem solvers - innovators, scientists, researchers, storytellers and other creative minds - who are passionate about bringing their ideas to life in order to stem the tide of plastic pollution.”

"National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures are excited to work with competition winners to help create new technologies, business models and other solutions that will bring us one step closer to achieving a planet in balance."