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FlexPack Recovery Challenge

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Closed Loop Partners have teamed up to challenge the best and brightest entrepreneurs to uncover solutions to one of the most important challenges in sustainable packaging through our joint Entrepreneur Challenge.  

The issue: Multi-material flexible packaging is experiencing tremendous growth in the packaging market, however it is one of the most challenging packaging formats at its end-of-life. There is a lack of beneficial recovery options that divert multi-material flexible packaging from landfills and waterways and create outputs that are economically productive and environmentally preferable.


The Challenge

Identify innovations in the recovery of multi-material flexible packaging, such as:

  • Technologies that separate multi-material flexible packaging into its constituent materials.
  • Chemical or mechanical recycling processes that create viable material feedstocks for new manufacturing processes from multi-material flexible packaging.
  • Novel non-recycling recovery processes that create chemical intermediaries or other industrial inputs from multi-material flexible packaging that support existing or new end markets

Finalists will be selected to attend SPC Impact in Seattle, WA on April 1-4 2019 and present their work during a dedicated FlexPack Recovery Challenge Showcase to an audience of brands, retailers, suppliers, and impact investors. 


All finalists will receive:

  • Complimentary attendance at SPC Impact in Seattle, WA on April 1-4 2019, including an opportunity to present to an audience of brands, retailers, suppliers, and impact investors at the FlexPack Recovery Challenge Showcase, travel fare up to $500 per person for up to two people per company, and hotel accommodations for up to two rooms per company for up to two nights each
  • A special networking event following the FlexPack Recovery Challenge Showcase with dedicated table space for meetings with interested brands and suppliers
  • Valuable feedback on the sustainability merit of your projects as well as other market insights and pragmatic industry considerations from industry experts
  • A listing on the Center for the Circular Economy website under its Packaging vertical with significant investor reach and a listing on the SPC’s website with significant industry reach
  • Inclusion in announcements from the  SPC and The Center for the Circular Economy at the Closed Loop Partners

One winner will receive:

  • Recognition and celebration on stage at SPC Impact as well as through online communications from both the SPC and CLP
  • A customized mentorship program jointly administered by the Center for the Circular Economy and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, including dedicated time with staff in both organizations to develop sustainability and economic considerations for their innovations and the possibility to explore further opportunities for investment and pilot projects
  • One year of SPC membership, including access to SPC conferences, educational resources, an extensive network of leading companies with commitments to sustainable packaging, and a special opportunity to engage with the SPC’s Industry Leadership Committee on Multi-Material Flexible Recovery


Any start-up, university, or individual may submit a nomination. We will only consider applicants with a prototype process with some testing completed and in pilot-ready or near-pilot-ready stage.

Selection Criteria

Innovations will be assessed against:

  • Ability to process commingled multi-material flexible packaging with variable composition, including polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, aluminum, and other materials common to multi-material flexible packaging.
  • Ability to create a beneficial output, assessed in terms of alignment with circular economy principles and sustainable materials management principles.
  • Market scalability and economic viability, including the potential of the project’s business model and consideration of targeted or various end markets .

Maximum points will be awarded to innovations that perform well across multiple assessment categories. See specific scoring criteria below.


Finalists will be assessed by Challenge Judges, with input from Challenge Advisors, and Innovation Parters.


  • Adam Gendell, Associate Director, SPC
  • Tristanne Davis, Project Manager, SPC
  • Ellen Martin, VP Impact and Strategic Initiatives, Closed Loop Partners
  • Kate Daly, Executive Director, Center for Circular Economy, Closed Loop Partners


  • Brad Rodgers, R&D Director – Discovery, PepsiCo Food Packaging
  • Rachel Goldstein, Global Sustainability Reporting Senior Manager, Mars, Incorporated
  • Ed Kosior, Honorary Professor at Brunel University London, at the Wolfson Materials Processing Centre. Fellow at The Society of Plastics Engineers
  • Additional Closed Loop Partners and Sustainable Packaging Coalition staff

Innovation Partners:

Members of the SPC’s Multi-Material Flexible Recovery Industry Leadership Committee  including:





Submissions must be entered through the form below. No other forms of submissions will be considered. Submissions entered after the closing date will not be considered.

For more information, please read the FAQ and see the Challenge Terms & Conditions. Contact spcinfo@greenblue.org for any additional questions.


FlexPack Recovery Challenge 2019

  • Note: the SPC may adjust the submission title for brevity, clarity, and/or consistency among submissions.
  • Please provide a summary and overview of your solution, including concept, technical overview, and impact metrics
  • Drop files here or
    Please provide any supporting information on your innovation, such as: prototype sketches, testing results, pilot project information, and other research and materials
  • Drop files here or
    Please provide at least one high resolution picture or graphic that depicts your submission


Showcase your company’s commitment to sustainable packaging by becoming a corporate sponsor of the FlexPack Recovery Challenge. For more information, contact Barbara Fowler at barbara.fowler@greenblue.org

Questions? Check out the Challenge FAQ
Additional questions can be emailed to: spcinfo@greenblue.org.


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