Who are the Romanian participants to Plastic Fantastic Challenge

Last year in October, 5 leading Impact Hubs in Europe announced Plastic Fantastic Challenge, the program especially created to support innovation in fixing some of the environmental issues caused by plastic waste. The Plastic Fantastic Challenge is initiated by Enviu and powered by Impact Hub.

The main goal of the program is to deliver a solution backed by business plan and strong pitch in front of the Bootcamp Jury in London, 1-3 April, where only one of the 10 teams selected from all over Europe will win the 10 000 EUR award and a 6-month Impact Hub membership.

Plastic Fantastic Challenge included several stages since October:

  • Inspiration: From October 2015 the Plastic Fantastic Challenge platform opened for new business ideas.
  • Idea generation: The participants showed how they think we can reduce the amount of plastic packaging waste through innovative business solutions.
  • Clustering & matchmaking: A lot of ideas are gathered by this phase, so everyone is teaming up.  Together with their teams, the participants can bring the idea to the next level in the co-creation phase.
  • Co-creation: During the matchmaking phase, the teams are set-up and during the co-creation they get the time to co-create with experts and their business coach.
  • Pre-selection: Sad but true, not all ideas can win this challenge. During the pre-selection phase the 10 most promising teams will be selected for the business development phase. The selection is made by a jury consisting out of technology, business and innovation experts.
  • Business development: The ten most promising teams in this challenge are invited to the Plastic Fantastic Bootcamp. The main goal of the program is to deliver a final business plan and pitch which will be presented to the jury during the final Demo Day.

The competition gathered 108 ideas, 16 of the participants being from Romania.

Because we want to prepare Romanian impact entrepreneurs in going the extra mile, Impact Hub Bucharest is working with the support of Unilever Romania to help 5 top ideas in preparing their application for the London Bootcamp through mentoring, feedback and expert pitch training provided by our team and community members.

The 5 entrepreneurs who will need to refine their business model, develop a business case and deliver a convincing video pitch are:

  • Andreea Zaharescu (Upside-Down): In order to reduce plastic (shopping bags) we promote and encourage people to use reusable bags made from reused street banners for shopping in different supermarket chains.
  • Ofelia Zaha: Rethink the coffee dispenser experience to make consumers switch to using refillable, ceramic mugs instead of single-use plastic cups.
  • Lavinia Pruteanu: Use controlled burning to convert plastic into active coal, a material with various uses ranging from the medical industry to electric devices or industrial air filters.
  • Ștefan Sava: Container boxes for products in supermarkets containing a multilayer of biodegradable plastic film on top of the actual container box. After use, the user can take off the artificial layer out in one second to get a clean, free of germs container. The package can go this way for 50 uses and then rewrapped and put again in circulation.
  • Radu Irimie (Apomat): Refill plastic bottles with water from a water vending machine near your location instead of throwing away the bottle after you have emptied its contents. 

The participants will submit their business concepts by February 29th at the latest, competing with other innovations and concepts from all over Europe. Other ideas proposed by Romanian participants included reusable, septic packaging for food in supermarkets, polystyrene replacement based on mushrooms, plastic-eating organisms or new uses of plastic in constructions as an ingredient for concrete.

Therefore, the main goal of the program is to deliver a final business plan and pitch which will be presented to the jury during the final Demo Day. Only one team can be the ultimate winner of the Plastic Fantastic Challenge. We will soon let you know about the ideas pitched by all of the 5 Romanian teams, as well as who is the lucky winner. Keep in touch!


Andreea Celmare

Andreea Celmare

Marketing & Incubation Ninja

With a dash of good communication, passion for design and always looking for a different approach, Andreea is communicating about everything that happens inside Impact Hub. Let's talk about concept, creative strategies, branding and identity.