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IDB Group and MIT Solve announce 10 finalist solutions of the Rethink Plastics Challenge

Winners will receive up to US$60,000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to have a pilot of up to US$250,000 with the IDB Group.

The IDB Group, formed by the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest and IDB Lab, and the Solve Initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chose the 10 finalist solutions of the Rethink Plastics challenge, which seeks to raise awareness among governments, businesses and consumers to substantially reduce single-use plastics in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The initiatives selected as finalists were presented by Algramo, ALLGA, Arqlite, Atando Cabos, E-Coins, Micrastic, Plastic Bank, Precious Plastic, Reciclagem a Seco de Embalagens Plasticas Contaminadas and Transformación plástico un uso, empaque plátano Urabá. Representatives of these solutions from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Netherlands will pitch their innovative products to the jury on March 17th in Barranquilla, Colombia in the context of the Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and IDB Invest, where winners will also be announced.

Winners of the Rethink Plastics Challenge will receive up to USD 60,000 in cash prizes and the chance to have a pilot of up to USD 250,000 with the IDB Group. Besides, finalists will become part of the worldwide entrepreneur network of the IDB Group and MIT Solve.

 “Rethink Plastics received a total of 551 solutions from Latin American and the Caribbean, becoming the second highest number in the history of MIT Solve challenges. We take pride in having 10 wonderful solutions as finalists, which show the reach, diversity and quality of the challenge”, explained Juliano Seabra, Chief of the Innovation & Creativity Division at the Inter-American Development Bank.

The winners will be selected by a jury composed of IDB managers, representatives of the academic world and leaders of the private sector: Daniel Mitchell, president of Acoplásticos, Keyvan Macedo, Senior Sustainability Manager of at Natura, Carolina Gil, responsible for  New Initiatives and Business Models at Coca Cola, Michel DeGraff, Director of the Initiative MIT-Haití, Paula Uribe, Senior Manager at PepsiCo, Silvana López, CEO at The Blockchain Initiative and  Tá Corrales Sánchez, affiliated to the  MIT D-Lab inclusive economies program.

About the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

The IDB mission is to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in 1959, the IDB is one of the leading sources of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development of Latin America and the Caribbean. We also carry out cutting edge projects and offer consultancy about policies, technical assistance and training for public and private clients in the entire region.

About IDB invest

IDB Invest, member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean in the private sector. IDB Invests finances companies and sustainable projects so they can reach their financial results and maximize their economic, social and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of USD 12,440 millions in managed assets and 342 customers in 24 countries, IDB Invest offers innovative financial solutions and consultancy services that meet their customers’ needs in a great variety of sectors.

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group. We mobilize financing, knowledge, and connections to catalyze innovation for inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. We believe innovation is a powerful tool that can transform our region, providing today unprecedented opportunities to populations that are vulnerable due to economic, social, or environmental factors.

About MIT Solve

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of Members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact. Last year, about 1,400 innovators from over 100 countries sent solutions, leaving 61 finalists from 22 countries. The current Solve challenges include good and inclusive projects, learnings for women and girls, sustainable food systems, as well as maternal and newborn health.

Press contact
More Information

Juliano Seabra, Chief of the Innovation Division of the IDB: julianos@iadb.org