The European Commission has announced the Winners of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition.

The three winning projects from the 2019 "Challenging Plastic Waste" Competition will each receive 50,000€ for demonstrating outstanding potential to reduce plastic waste and improve re-use and recycling at a systemic level. 

The winners are:

MIWA (Czech Republic): An innovative, financially sustainable circular distribution and sale system for food and non-food products with reusable packaging.

SpraySafe (Portugal): An edible spray to be applied to the surface of foods in order to preserve them, thus reducing the need for plastic wrapping and containers.

VEnvirotech (Spain): A biotech start-up that transforms organic waste into biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastics using bacteria.

The three 2019 Winners were selected from a total of 543 initial applicants from across Europe. In July, 30 Semi-Finalists took part in the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition's Academy; an intensive training and coaching programme designed to develop their initiatives.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs commented, "The European Social Innovation Competition clearly shows how we can tackle some of the biggest challenges facing European society through innovation and entrepreneurship. The 'Challenging Plastic Waste' theme complements other important European initiatives, such as the 'European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy', and the Circular Plastics Alliance, which rely on the active participation and cooperation of business. I would like to congratulate especially the three winners and to thank all of the participants for their entrepreneurship, ingenuity and enthusiasm."