GBDA Students win funding for social venture to reduce reliance on plastics

Friday, June 28, 2019

The winning team of students

How might we find value in waste? The World Vision Social Innovation Challenge had students focus on the waste problem in the Filipino Island of Iloilo. The Philippines is ranked as the third worst plastic polluter in the world.

A team of Global Business and Digital Arts students developed Virtuous Waste, an alternative to plastic packaging made of seaweed that they pitched before a panel of industry experts and social entrepreneurs on June 19 in Toronto. Their winning solution will receive $25,000 in funding for implementation during a 12-month incubation period. Virtuous Waste was selected from over 60 different teams from across Canada who competed in the challenge.

The Virtuous Waste team, comprised of Sylvia Bogdanowicz, Amirah Mahomed, Cindy Le, Kristen Fajardo, and Laura Kraehling developed a proactive solution focused on eliminating plastic permanently but didn't force residents to change their habits. Their research indicated that residents buy single-use plastic sachets for their toiletries and due to lack of proper waste management infrastructure, throw their garbage into the nearby river. They landed on using seaweed in their solution as it is water-soluble, edible, grows abundantly in the Philippines, and has nutrients that restore biodiversity. Their solution has the potential to help the environment and the economy by partnering with local seaweed farmers.

Get the full story in the Stratford School news

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