Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize: Judges and early buyers announced

white plastic bag on chain link fence

The Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize is worth more than 1 million US Dollars and has announced that Stella McCartne, Don Cheadle, and Livia Firth have joined a judging panel. A network of partners will also be trialing the winning innovations as early adopters.

Tom Ford and Lonely Whale’s 52HZ created the material science competition. It is open to inventors, entrepreneurs, and those who are invested in fighting plastic pollution. The competition aims to foster meaningful innovation through creating a sustainable, biodegradable, alternative to thin-film plastic.

Stella McCartney, British fashion designer, has joined the judging panel and has agreed to scale up the successful thin-film plastic alternatives on the market. Stella McCartney and other designers, including Tom Ford International, Dell Technologies, Herman Miller, Imperial Dade, LeClub, ROQ, HP Inc., have all pledged to test these sustainable materials in their packaging solutions.

Each company will run trials to validate and establish industry partnerships. These companies will evaluate the possibility of purchasing and incorporating the materials into their supply chains if the materials meet the requirements of the company.

Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize announces a network of partners to scale up and test winning innovations

white plastic bag on chain link fence

Stacey Feeley, chief Executive at GoSili, Inc, stated in a statement that “The time is right for sustainable plastic packaging change and we must make the necessary steps to implement them.” We encourage each other to invent and hold each other responsible for the world around us through partnerships, challenges and science.

“We are thrilled to support the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation finalists and can’t wait to see the future to replace plastic pollution.”

Page Motes, Dell Technologies’ global head for corporate sustainability, said: “The solution is out there. It’s up companies like ours not only to find alternatives, but to scale them to maximize their environmental impact.”

“We are so excited to see all the ideas submitted by the finalists. We look forward to trying their solutions to reach our 2030 sustainability goals.”

Submissions for the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize are closed on October 24.

Organisers of the competition explain that thin-film plastic makes up 46 percent currently of the roughly 14 million metric tons plastic found on the ocean floor. It is almost impossible to extract. Only two products, single-use resealable sandwich storage bag and plastic polybags used in the fashion industry, account for more than 300 million thin-film plastic bags that are disposed of each year.

The Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize is designed to encourage competition finalists and their adopters to create sustainable alternatives to thin film plastic. It was opened in May and has received over 170 applications from 39 different countries, six continents. Submissions close on October 24.

The competition finalists will be chosen in the early 2022 and winners announced in the early 2023. After the competition is over, Tom Ford and 52HZ will offer three years of accelerator services for winners. The Plastic Innovation Prize will provide dedicated support to assist finalists in reaching scale and market adoption by 2025.

Dr Dune Ives is the chief executive of Lonely Whale. He said: “With today‚Äôs announcement, we are more optimistic than ever that The Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize (or any other award) will be a success beyond our initial expectations.”

“The addition these amazing judges, advisors, and companies willing to test finalists’ products with the intent of purchasing those materials post-competition, increases the confidence in potential applicants as well future investors.”

Stella McCartney joins Don Cheadle, and Livia Firth on the judging panel for the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize

A panel of fashion and environmental leaders will select the finalist. Stella McCartney and Don Cheadle will be joined by Livia Firth, Ellen Jackowski, chief of impact and head of sustainable impacts at HP Inc., James Andrews founder of Authenticated Ventures and John John Florence, Olympian and two-time World Champion Surfer, and Steven Kolb chief executive officer of Council of Fashion Designers America.

The prize also added two new members to its scientific and technical advisory boards: Andy Johnson from ROQ.US and Tom Bebien from Plastic Odyssey.

Steven Kolb is the chief executive officer of Council of Fashion Designers of America. He stated that the support offered through the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize would be vital in accelerating safe material options to petroleum-based plastics, which are so harmful to the ocean, land and climate. We need to find new packaging solutions if we want to achieve our climate and waste ambitions.

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