Plastiwin with Suez & Vinventions active in solving the challenges of the circular economy in Europe




As part of the next "Business4Change Hackathon" of the European Commission, which will take place on November 16 and 17, 2020 in Brussels:

  • The director of Plastiwin, Aurore Mourette, has been recognized as "Circular Economy" Expert in order to guide and judge the results of the Hackathon, which highlights the two challenges issued by its two members: Suez and Vinventions.
  • Suez Challenge: How to reduce the cost of the plastic packaging waste supply chain?
  • Vinventions challenge: Create a sustainable economic model for the collection, sorting and recovery of post-consumer wine corks.



Event website:


What is the Business4Change Hackathon?

Business4Change is a 2-day hackathon, organized to address the issues businesses face in their transition to the circular economy. The hackathon emphasizes the potential of social innovation and the role of new business models in the circular economy. Business4Change is an initiative of the European Commission and will take place from November 16 to 17, 2020 as part of the European Business Summit at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Belgium.

Over 2 days, different teams will compete to find innovative and creative solutions to solve a practical challenge related to the circular economy. The challenges are selected in collaboration with challenge issuers and experts representing companies, associations and NGOs. Before the hackathon, selected experts will share their knowledge on the circular economy with the participants. During the hackathon, teams will present their ideas and win prizes!


The two challenges to be met


Challenge 1: How to reduce the cost of the plastic packaging waste supply chain? Help SUEZ reduce the cost of the plastic packaging waste supply chain!

Let's talk about plastics! The amount of plastic produced in Europe today is 50 times what it was 50 years ago (with over 8 billion tonnes of plastic produced by industries since 1950 alone). To further complicate the situation, each year the transport of hundreds of millions of tonnes of waste has an immense impact on society. To give you an overview, this represents 30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by waste management (the equivalent of several million tonnes of CO2). SUEZ transforms more than 400,000 tonnes of plastics each year to produce 100,000 tonnes of recycled polymers. The issue is that the characteristic of plastic packaging waste is its very low density, generating high logistics costs between the collection point and the door of the reprocessing plant (around 50% of the total recycling cost). We are looking for innovative ideas to reduce logistics costs throughout the supply chain.


  • Why is a new business model needed? These costs are a crucial bottleneck in making recycled plastics competitive with virgin plastics.
  • What is the sector impact? Increase the long-term viability of the recycled plastic sector in the face of very low prices for virgin plastic. In addition, there is more than 100 million euros of potential business impact.
  • What is the societal impact? Collecting more plastic means less plastic in the environment and lower CO2 emissions from transport.

The winners of this challenge will be offered an internship opportunity at SUEZ. It is also possible for them to receive a doctoral opportunity or eventually become one of the employees of one of SUEZ's Business Units or research centers around the world.


Challenge 2: Create a sustainable economic model for the collection, sorting and recovery of post-consumer wine corks.

Find solutions for small objects. Global beverage brand Ab InBev has teamed up with Belgian company Vinventions, one of the most innovative wine corking companies, to develop a challenge for our teams that addresses a crucial issue in the circular economy: what to do with small items in traditional recycling the options are not viable?

A beverage closure is simply the method used to seal the beverage container during production. In the context of this challenge, we are talking about two specific types of closures:

• Wine corks

• Steel bottle caps

At the moment, these products are not widely recycled, although it is possible to recycle them. The simple reason is that traditional methods of recycling products (through local authorities or returnable bottles and cans) are not suitable for these small items. For example, it is virtually impossible to charge consumers a deposit for a cork or bottle cap. As a result, currently the majority of wine corks are burned in an incinerator. Steel caps, because they cannot be separated by machines from other materials like glass, aluminum, steel and plastic containers, end up going to the landfill. In order to avoid pollution by materials which could be recycled but which are not currently, we need innovative ideas!

  • Why is a new business model needed? The main challenge for these products is how to create value by involving them in the circular economy. If there is already an environmental value, the economic value must be developed further.
  • What is the sector impact? The solution could serve the entire beverage sector and be extended to other small products that are not effectively recycled (plastic bags, disposable diapers, etc.).
  • What is the societal impact? A society with less waste benefits consumers, producers and the planet at the same time.
  • What potential for scaling up? Each year, the equivalent of more than 31 billion bottles of wine are consumed worldwide (source: Recork). 370 million hectoliters of beers are consumed in Europe, the equivalent of 98 billion 33cl bottles (source: The Brewers of Europe).


The winners of this challenge will be offered:

  • ABInBev - 4-week mentoring and coaching to incubate or accelerate the winning idea through our GLAB start-up ecosystem towards a potential POC. Access to our SMEs and Scrum Masters in expert sessions throughout the 4 weeks.
  • Vinventions - Vinventions will help by providing funds and mentorship to create a start-up in the event of a viable business model. Vinventions can also offer internships in their oenological expert center in Nîmes, France.