College students challenged to rethink plastic in global competition

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (9 September 2020) – Enactus launched a challenge to university and college students worldwide to rethink plastic use, recycling and disposal today during Enactus World Cup 2020.

Sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Dell and Hi-Cone, the new competition seeks to motivate Enactus 72,000 students to bring creative new thinking to devise improvements to current practices.

The launch at the digital Enactus World Cup, included a panel discussion with the sponsoring companies and industry experts including Ben Jordon, Senior Director, Environmental Policy Global Policy & Sustainability with The Coca-Cola Company and Jennifer Perr, Sustainability Director with Hi-Cone Worldwide.

Plastics are ubiquitous, having proven to be among the world’s most important industrial innovations, changing industries from food to healthcare and consumer goods. However, most plastic packaging is used only once, and 95 percent of plastic packaging material – estimated to be worth US$80-$120 billion annually – simply becomes trash, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Thus, a move from single use to reuse of plastic not only helps eliminate plastic waste and pollution but can offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other negative impacts.

“We are thrilled to support Enactus nextgen leaders, who share our commitment to prevent plastic waste and find sustainable solutions that can advance a circular model of consumption and production,” said Shawn Welch, vice president and general manager of Hi-Cone Worldwide, a minimal multi-packaging solution for global beverage brands. “As a multi-packaging solutions company, innovation and sustainability are at the core of everything we do. We are always looking for fresh ideas and alternative perspectives. Enactus‘ Race to Rethink Plastics provides a platform for young inventors and entrepreneurs to do just that – share their passion, creativity and innovative solutions.”

“The Coca-Cola Company is committed to our World Without Waste initiative, which we introduced in 2018. We are making strong progress towards our goals and are fundamentally rethinking how we get our product into the hands of consumers,” said Elaine Bowers Coventry, chief customer and commercial officer, The Coca-Cola Company and Enactus Board Member. “Supporting the Enactus Race to Rethink Plastics allows us to tap into the entrepreneurship and creativity of the thousands of Enactus student leaders from around the world. These young entrepreneurs are driving change and offering impactful solutions that will help accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

Enactus, a network of global business, academic and student leaders unified unified by a vision to create a better, more sustainable world, operates the largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. The organization has an an established track record of addressing plastic issues with its 1 Race 4 Oceans. In the first year, 1 Race 4 Oceans projects have directly impacted 73,025 and indirectly impacted 892,824 people. 1 Race 4 Oceans student projects created 128 businesses, 738 jobs and nearly $9.5M in new revenue streams while reducing more than 120,000 kilograms of waste, including plastic.

As part of the Enactus model, more than 72,000 students in 35+ countries create businesses that address the global goals. Students compete on the positive impact created through their work at national competitions; from September 8 to 11, Enactus national champion teams are competing on a virtual, global stage at Enactus World Cup 2020.

To learn more about the Race to Rethink Plastic powered by Enactus, visit

About Enactus

Enactus, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the largest experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. A network of global business, academic and student leaders unified by a vision to create a better, more sustainable world, the organization also provides a platform for next gen leaders to develop leadership skills while working with leading companies worldwide. In 2019, Enactus projects impacted 2.9 million lives, helped launch 3,000 small businesses, and eliminated 5.9 million tons of CO2, plus 819,699 women gained new skills to advance economic equality. For more information, visit

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at

About Dell

Dell believes they have a responsibility to protect and enrich our planet together with their customers, suppliers and communities. It is a core part of their business and they embed sustainability and ethical practices into all that they do, being accountable for their actions while driving improvements wherever and whenever possible. By 2030, for every product a customer buys, Dell will reuse or recycle an equivalent product. 100% of their packaging will be made from recycled or renewable material. More than half of their product content will be made from recycled or renewable material. For more information, visit

About Hi-Cone

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of ring carriers, a minimal multi-packaging solution for global beverage brands. Hi-Cone has set ambitious goals to become 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. We realize we cannot do this alone and need to work collaboratively with consumers, governments, and industry to meet consumer’s desire to reduce their plastic use and meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our aim is to educate consumers on how to reduce plastic consumption and how to recycle all aspects of the circular economy; an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. We partner with consumers, retailers, and industry experts to make tangible and impactful changes to advance the circular economy through our ongoing innovations in packaging design and material development. For more information on Hi-Cone, please visit or follow news on LinkedIn. To learn more about Hi-Cone’s new ring carrier recycling program, please visit

How a partnership created a ring carrier recycling program

Plastics reclaimer Avangard Innovative will sell millions of pounds of PCR each year to six-pack carrier manufacturer Hi-Cone Worldwide, as the companies expand their existing business relationship.

The two companies recently announced they launched a ring carrier recycling program, though which consumers will be able to return used LDPE six-pack ring carriers to participating stores or mail them straight to Avangard Innovative. Avangard will recycle the plastic and sell PCR to Hi-Cone for use in 50%-recycled-content carriers.


Read the full article on Plastics Recycling Update!

Companies Kick Off Partnership Week to Tackle Plastic Waste

While COVID-19 continues to disrupt local recycling, two companies launched a partnership this week to prevent some of the 9 million tons of plastic waste from ending up in the environment.

Hi-Cone Worldwide, a multi-packaging provider for the beverage industry based in Itasca, Ill., is partnering with Houston, Texas-based Avangard Innovative to launch a “manufacturer-led” consumer recycling program in the U.S.


Read the full article on Waste 360!

Avangard, Hi-Cone partner in ring carrier recycling program

Avangard Innovative, a plastics recycler based in Houston, has partnered with Hi-Cone Worldwide, supplier of ring carrier multipackaging systems based in Itasca, Illinois, to launch RingRecycleMe, a program for recycling Hi-Cone’s plastic ring carriers for beverages, which are made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE).


Read the full article on Recycling Today!

Hi-Cone Responds to Beverage Companies Switching from Plastic to Paperboard Can-Rings

After writing about Coca-Cola European Partners making the switch from plastic can-rings to paperboard, I discovered that several European-based beverage companies have done the same, including beer makers Carlsberg (announced in 2018) and Heineken (announced in November 2019). The goal is to rid the world of plastic can-rings, which are made by global supplier Hi-Cone (Itasca, IL).


Read the full article on Plastics Today!