The last of the five prizes in the “Second Life of Things in Design” international student competition has been awarded to the creators of PackZero, a circular delivery network that combines reusable packaging with hybrid pickup and delivery. The project by by Ruoyi An, Yanhui Ban and Shijie Luan, students at ArtCenter College of Design, US, has been selected as the winning one by the Founder of BE OPEN think tank, entrepreneur and philanthropist Elena Baturina.

PackZero proposes to transform the current resource depleting online retail distribution system, with a circular delivery network that combines inflatable reusable packaging with hybrid pickup and delivery experience. It implies building central hubs at locations that users frequent or find easily accessible, thereby reducing overall ‘product miles.’ The reusable package is to be made of durable biodegradable material, which research estimates can be potentially used up to 100 time, which is projected to reduce the shipping packaging waste in the world by 20% from 2020 to 2030.

“I chose to support PackZero because of their system multi-aspect approach to the immense problem of packaging waste. I believe the more aspects of an issue are taken on by the solution, the more efficient it is going to be. Yet I find the ambition and the thinking behind each of the finalist entries remarkable, and am deeply impressed with them. I am hoping that this competition will help drive more engagement with young designers from the SDG-focused businesses, state and public bodies. I am very excited to see how far these projects will evolve.”

In 2019, BE OPEN and Cumulus joined forces to hold an international competition to support the UN’s SDG programme. Students of arts, design and architecture-related courses submitted works that demonstrate a design-oriented take on the problems of sustainability, wiser production and consumption called for in one of the SDGs. The project accumulated a total of 683 submissions from 44 countries.

The competition offered 4 more prizes: three main winners were selected by the international jury and awarded with €10,000, €6,000, €4,000 jointly by BE OPEN and Cumulus; online voting selected the winner of the Public Vote Award of €2,000. All the winners will attend the awards ceremony to present their ideas to a panel of academics, design professionals, sustainability experts.