Please send questions not addressed in the FAQ to We will update this FAQ from time to time based on the questions asked/answered.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Initiative? 

An Initiative is a project, program or technology solution that has demonstrated, proven results in reducing, repurposing or reusing plastics. An Initiative can be led by a company, an NGO, local government, individuals acting together, or as a public-private-partnership. An Initiative has a leadership team. The Initiative can be already completed, is an annual happening, or is ongoing. What matters most is that the Initiative gets results, and even better, has measurable data, or at least provides clear before/after anecdotal evidence. An Initiative can be big or small. A small Initiative with a clear start, middle and end that yields excellent results could be a great example huge if replicated everywhere in India. A large Initiative that takes a long time to plan, lots of resources and is also a large success is equally valuable.

What constitutes an Initiative is in the team’s eyes. Your goal is to show why it has value to be repeated again and again by others, and how it can be replicate, and what has to happen to do so. Lastly, the Initiative can be for the local community, or broader consumer-focused, or aimed at businesses (industrial or retail), or aimed at local municipalities and their actions. It can focus on educational awareness or real actions. In summary: A team looking to select an Initiative should focus on what was implemented, and the real difference it made.

What is NOT an Initiative? 

An Initiative is not a startup with a concept that has yet to be proven or gain traction. An Initiative (in our case) is not a program or project that just launched, without any actual proof that it is reducing or preventing plastic waste. An Initiative is not a one-off, one-time successful beach cleanup completed by 10 people or even 100 people, yet with little or no follow up. An Initiative is not a science technology in the lab or even a prototype tested. An Initiative is not an idea.

Should we interview the Initiatives leadership? 

We encourage each team to reach out to the Initiative’s leadership to conduct one or more interviews, as well as partners and community members engaged.

Is it better to find an amazing local Initiative or one which is high-up in any general Google Search on “plastic waste solutions in India” for example? 

Teams will be judged on their application submissions in each stage of the competition. Being selected to move to Stage Two is more about the quality of the team’s submission, and not the Initiative itself. In Stage Two, the Case Study will also strongly consider the Initiative’s impact and success. It should be noted, however, that the questions asked in each stage are geared to highlight the Initiative selected and its results, its replicability, and eventual scalability in India and the world. Multiple teams can select the same Initiative, although only one will be asked to become a finalist. The competition also features four award categories. Strategically, a team should consider its odds to win if it chooses an obvious Initiative, or goes the extra mile to find an Initiative that may not have received the PR, but made a real difference.

Two resources from Ocean Recovery Alliance 

In January 2020, Ocean Recovery Alliance published a report called “Crafting High-Impact Voluntary Commitments To Reduce and Prevent Marine Litter.” For the report, Ocean Recovery Alliance reviewed 580 public commitments made by global stakeholders from 2014-2018. From these 580 commitments, it developed the PCC Codes (i.e. Plastic Category Classification Code ) which is a taxonomy of potential types of Initiatives by stakeholder. The PCC Codes may be helpful in your team in identifying an Initiative to champion.


What is the information required for registering your team?

It’s easy. We only need to know the names of your team members and email addresses, your university, and your team leader.

Does your team need to select your initiative when registering? 

Not at all. We know finding an Initiative that your team feels is a powerful example of an Initiative that other stakeholders in India could replicate will require time, effort and research. We will ask each team leader to share the Initiative selected after the registration period ends and once the team has decided which Initiative to champion.

Can a team have more or less than 3 or 4 members? Can they be from multiple universities? 

Teams of 3 or 4 students can be from multiple universities. For the competition, we will only judge teams of 3 or 4 students. Submissions from teams of 1 or 2 students, or 5 or more students will not be eligible.

Why are their two stages to this competition after registering?   

The competition is in two stages. In Stage One, a team will submit the Summary Sheet Application, which primarily includes a number of questions and answers. In Stage Two, a smaller group of finalists will be asked to write a more detailed Case Study of the same Initiative.

How many teams will be selected as finalists? 

There is no set number of teams that will be asked to move forward to Stage Two. We are looking for solid submissions from teams that have clearly put time into presenting their Initiative in the best light. Being selected to move to Stage Two is more about the quality of the team’s submission, and not the Initiative itself. In Stage Two, the Case Study will also strongly consider the Initiative’s impact and success.

Do you encourage interviewing the initiative’s stakeholder? 

Of course. While we belief it is possible to provide answers to questions posed in the Summary Sheet Application, the stronger applications should be able to reference and communicate the information learned during these interviews, and have more in-depth answers.

Who wins the $5,000 prize money? 

Distribution of the prize money is straightforward. Upon final submission of the finalist’s Case Study, each finalist will be asked to enter its Initiative into 1 of the 4 categories. The top 3 submitted Case Studies will win the overall 3 prizes, and the rest of the finalist Case Studies will be judged within the category selected and the best two will be selected in each category as winners.


Does your team need to answer all of the questions? 

Yes, but if for some reason the question is impossible to answer due to the nature of the Initiative, please do your best, and feel free to qualify your response, accordingly.

Why does the Summary Sheet Application include an extra section – a 1 page Summary Overview at the end of the application?

All Initiative Summary Overviews from every registered applicant will be combined into one PDF and viewable on the web site. Our intent is twofold. First, we want to bring well deserved attention to each organization and Initiative selected by all teams, as every effort to reduce plastic waste in India should be celebrated; Second, we want to provide your team with recognition for your work.

Can the Executive Summary have a different “look and feel” and formatted presentation?  

Sure. This is the opportunity for the team to promote its work product. Judges will not, however, factor in the Exec Summary, as it will be removed from the Application prior to the start of the judging process.


What is the Case Study?

The Case Study template will be provided at a later date. In general, teams will be required to answer the questions posted on the home page under the “About the Case Study” section.

The Case Study vs. Presentation at Awards Night

All judging of finalist Case Studies will be conducted prior to the Presentations and Awards night and will be based solely on the Case Study submitted.


Phone #: 91 22 66950347

Kind attn: Mr Sandeep Shinde


Indian Plastics Institute

30 Sarvodaya Industrial Area

Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri East

Mumbai 400093 India


Register Here