Presented with
Implementing Solutions

Rethink Plastics Challenge

How can consumers, businesses, and governments in Latin America and the Caribbean substantially reduce or eliminate single-use plastic and plastic waste?

Submissions are Closed

Official Rules

I. Eligibility 

The Rethink Plastics Challenge (“Challenge”) is organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB”) and is open to contestants (“Contestant”) from member countries of the IDB and the Inter-American Investment Corporation* (“IDB Invest”, together with the IDB also in its capacity as administrator of the IDB Lab, the “IDB Group”) (see:, Contestants may be individuals or organizations.  Contestants are responsible for compliance with legal requirements of their country.

A)  Individuals must be of at least 18 years of age at time of entry.  Individuals may form teams and submit entries on behalf of teams. Individuals who join teams must meet the eligibility requirements for Individual Contestants.

B)  Organizations must be legally established entities in their respective countries. 

C)  Staff, contractors and vendors of the IDB  Group, the members of the Judging Panel or any company or individual involved with the design, production, execution or distribution of the Challenge and their immediate family members (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew) are not eligible to join the Challenge.

*Member countries include: Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela 

II. Challenge Submission

1. The Rethink Plastics Challenge is hosted on the MIT Solve platform.

2. Submission Period begins on September 26, 2019 at 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) and ends on January 14, 2020 at 23:59 PM EDT (the “Challenge Submission Period”).  

3. Submission Requirements:

  • Submissions must be in the format provided in the MIT Solve platform available at [].
  • Contestants may submit more than one Submission. However, Submissions must not be substantially similar to a prior Submission by the same Contestant. A separate user account must be created in order to submit a second Submission.
  • Each Submission must be in either English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
  • Submissions which, in the IDB  sole determination do any of the following, will be disqualified:
    • adversely affect the reputation of the IDB Group or any of its officials or member countries;  
    • are illegal under applicable laws; 
    • depict hatred, defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten a specific person or community in the society or can incite violence or conflict, or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others; 
    • contain any infringing, obscene, indecent, or unlawful material or information.
  • Submissions must a) be original; b) be solely owned by Contestant, who represents that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown; and 3) Contestant represents that it has obtained the license or permission to use materials owned by third parties  granting  Contestant  the right to use such third party or proprietary materials for the Submission and 4) does not violate the privacy rights of other parties. The IDB disclaims any liability for infringements or other violations of intellectual property rights based on claims of ownership by Contestant; Contestant, by entering the Challenge, agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the Bank against any third-party claims.
  • After the Challenge Submission Period, the Contestant cannot make any changes or alterations to the Submission. 

4. Intellectual Property:

  • Intellectual property rights of Submissions will be owned by the Contestants. All submissions will be made publicly available on MIT Solve website and attributed to the individual or organization as its creator and intellectual property right owner. In order to upload materials on the MIT Solve website, you must grant MIT a non-exclusive right to use the materials, under the specific terms that you can find at
  • By joining this Challenge, you grant the IDB a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free license, which can be sublicensed to the IDB Invest, to use the Submissions for promotional, public display, informational, educational or awareness purposes. 
  • The IDB reserves the right to use the winning Submissions. Should your Submission win the Challenge, you grant the IDB a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free license, which can be sublicensed to the IDB Invest, to use the winning Submission for the implementation – either by you or a third party - of a pilot project to be financed by the IDB Group, subject to due diligence and internal approvals. 

III. Display of Submissions 

Submissions posted on the MIT Solve platform will be screened for basic functionality, accuracy of messaging, and integrity (i.e., security). 

IV. Judging Criteria, Screening and Judging Process, Judging Panel

A. Applications will be judged on the following criteria (“Judging Criteria”):

  • Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth and has been deployed or there are plans to deploy in Latin America and the Caribbean according to IDB Group´s purpose and mandates.
  • Potential for Impact: The planned solution implementation has the potential to impact lives and drive economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, most of all among vulnerable, and excluded populations.
  • Scalability:  The solution presents a clear path to be scaled to affect the lives of more people.
  • Feasibility: Solution implementation is feasible, and the team has a plan for financial and technical sustainability.
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the Challenge, and the team clearly identifies its competitive advantages.
  • Team Capability: The team is well prepared to develop the solution and has demonstrated it has the necessary skills and track record to test, improve, expand, or replicate expand the solution in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

B. Screening, Evaluation and Judging Process

1. Submissions which meet the Eligibility criteria and comply with Submission Requirements will be screened by a Selection Committee composed of international experts and staff members of the IDB Group and partner organizations. The Selection Committee will shortlist Finalists to pitch at the IDB Annual Meeting in March 2020. The Selection Committee will select the winner at this event. 

Committee members will be determined by the IDB. The IDB reserves the right to substitute or modify the Committee members at any time for any reason.


V. Awards

Ten finalists will be invited to the IDB Annual Meeting in Barranquilla, Colombia in March 2020. 

The Challenge offers 60,000 USD in cash prizes, with a top prize of 30,000 USD. Additionally, the winning submissions could be considered for a pilot project financed by the IDB Group up to 250,000 USD subject to due diligence and internal approvals. 

Organizations shall appoint one representative to pitch during IDB Annual Meeting. The travel and accommodation expenses for the finalists will be covered by IDB. 

VI. Verification of Shortlisted Submissions

ALL SHORTLISTED APPLICANTS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION BY the IDB WHOSE DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE CHALLENGE. Shortlisted Submissions must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. The Shortlisted Applicants will be notified by email on or about February 14.  

If after announcing the winner, the IDB determines that a Contestant has misrepresented, misstated, or mischaracterized its Submission in any way or Contestant is not the rightful owner of the Submission, the Submission is automatically disqualified from the Challenge, and any privileges received by winning this contest shall be rescinded and cash prizes not awarded or forfeited. Any determinations made by the IDB in withdrawing and disqualifying any Submission will be final and confidential.  

Winners are responsible for all applicable taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. No transfer or substitution of a prize is permitted except with the IDB consent. If a team of individuals, a corporation or an organization is selected as a prize winner, the prize will be awarded to the group and it will be up to them to split or appropriately allocate the prize. 

VII. Limitations of Liability

The  IDB is  not responsible for: (1) any false, incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Contestants or MIT Solve ; (2) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the submission process or the Competition; (3) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Competition or the processing of entries; or (4) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Contestant’s  participation in the Competition or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. No more than the stated amount of prize will be awarded.


Except where prohibited, by participating in the Challenge the winners agree to license to the IDB, which can sublicense to the IDB Invest, the use of winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without payment or consideration. 

VIII. No Recourse to Judicial Procedures

In the event that an entrant should disagree with any of these Challenge Rules or any decision made by the IDB or the Judging Panels, Contestant will have the right to withdraw its Submission. To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to any other recourse to judicial procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Challenge are hereby excluded, and Contestant expressly waive any and all such rights. 

IX. Preservation of Immunities

Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or a waiver of the privileges and immunities of the IDB and the IDB Invest which are specifically reserved.

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