WATSONVILLE, CALIF. – Driscoll’s has partnered with Think Beyond Plastic to launch the Agricultural Plastics Innovation Challenge, which aims to stimulate new recycling processes and the development of alternatives to conventionally used field plastics.

Innovators, entrepreneurs, research institutes, start-ups and institutions are encouraged to submit applications for innovative solutions, and winners will have the opportunity to pilot their innovations in a commercial environment. A dedicated Ag Plastics Innovation portal is available for submissions with a deadline of Nov. 30.

The use of plastic in berry production has proven to have significant benefits, such as improved yield, reduced food loss and improved food safety. However, a series of environmental, community, and economic impacts remain since recycling is not a viable option for plastics that have contact with the soil, which represents a significant share of agricultural plastics.

The Agricultural Plastics Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for berry producers to identify early-stage innovations that effectively collect, recycle, compost, or convert waste to energy. A panel of experts will select winners in each category that have demonstrated the capacity to scale their innovations into commercial production and deliver true environmental benefits.

“Driscoll’s is proud to be the corporate sponsor of The Agricultural Plastics Innovation Challenge, as it will support the entire industry in discovering scalable and economically viable solutions to improve the usage and recyclability of agricultural plastics,” said Scott Komar, senior vice president of global R&D, Driscoll’s. “We believe it is important to invest in ways to combat plastics waste and understand that as an industry, we all have a role to commit to broad and significant action toward more sustainable product offerings that are good for both people and the planet.”

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