Plastic is a global problem and each of us can be part of the solution.

Plastic was invented in the late 1800’s. Since its invention, over 8 billion metric tons have been globally produced and more than 50% has been discarded or incinerated. This number is constantly growing: over 322 million metric tons are produced each year, and 8 million metric tons end up in our oceans. This is threatening the health of the marine ecosystems and sea-life. All plastic that is not properly disposed of is toxic in nature, not only at sea but on land. The invention of this class of materials was revolutionary and still today polymers are essential in many industries and goods. While researchers are constantly developing biodegradable polymers, what can be done to lessen the burden of oil-based plastics on the ecosystems? Today plastic trash is one of the biggest resources available: plastic has huge possibilities and potentials if transformed .

We need to embrace the power of design and acknowledge the impact it can have. Ro Plastic Prize wishes to unite the design community in the challenge to use plastic waste before it reaches the waterways and to promote the next generation of design: plastic re-using, recycling and upcycling are the challenges that this prize wishes to bring to the global design community.


Rossana Orlandi is launching the 2nd edition of Ro Plastic Prize to challenge and inspire the design community to think differently about how objects are made. The best projects will be presented as finalists at Rossana Orlandi Gallery during the Fuorisalone of the 2020 Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. An international jury of professionals and experts will select the winners among the finalists, one for each category, who will receive a prize of 10.000€.



The Prize is open to designers from all countries, backgrounds, curricula and ages. For minors, consent from a legal guardian is required.


The Projects must be submitted as sketches, photos, drawings or renderings. Projects in Category 1 selected as Finalists must be then submitted as Prototypes. Each Prototype must be made out of recycled and recyclable plastic. Prototypes may have minor elements made of non-recyclable plastic and/or other materials, provided that such non-recyclable parts can be easily removed in order to make the Prototype wholly recyclable. Categories 4 and 5 can be written presentations and renderings.


In order to participate, designers are requested to read, accept, complete and sign the “Terms and Conditions” – including all the required information describing their projects in detail – and the following related “Subscription form” (see below). Applications must be submitted in English.


Please submit videos and/or images to explain the process from the idea to the final result. A cover and a personal portrait are required. The limit for each photo is 3MB and the videos should be submitted through a link to a YouTube or Vimeo channel.


Each submission will be evaluated with the following four parameters: innovation, functionality, environmental impact, durability.



The mission is to work ONE STEP BEFORE plastic waste reaches the waterways: the United Nations for the World Environment Day 2018 warned that every year more than 400 million tons of plastic waste is produced in the world, of which only 9 percent is recycled. (Source Agencia EFE)
We MUST INCREASE this percentage, it is too small.
It’s not time to waste, but to save!


The Prize is an opportunity to increase the circular economy solutions, from urban to industrial production waste.
We are asking for upcycled plastic projects for indoors and outdoors, private and urban spaces, combining form and structure with efficient manufacturing methods, functionality and timeless style for medium and large-scale industrial production.


The 2019 Copenhagen Fashion Summit reported that fashion is responsible for 92 million tons of solid waste dumped in landfills each year and that it is also the second-biggest consumer of water, producing 20 percent of global wastewater. These numbers, in addition to the ones generated by the other industrial sectors using textiles, are shocking.


The Prize is an opportunity to reduce in the tangible way the ecological disruptive impact caused by the textile industry considered, second to oil, the largest polluter in the world. We are asking for surprising new technological and innovative textile materials and projects, to be used in multiple sectors.


In the 2019 edition this prize has not been assigned as the presented projects didn’t meet the requirements

Single-use retail packaging waste is growing at an alarming rate and is a big challenge for the design community. With modern consumption patterns shifting from physical to online retail, and goods being shipped globally, the logistics and material footprint of packaging have drastically increased in complexity. Goods go through many phases of packing and unpacking before they reach the final consumer. Huge amounts of waste are generated throughout the supply chains, from manufacturers, distribution centers, digital inventories and local logistic delivery systems. Did you know that retail packaging is made up of mostly non-degradable high-performance polymers or composite fused materials, laminated with organic fiber and thin metal films, to pass mechanical drop tests, food safety and environmental resistance standards? The most important function of retail packaging is to protect the product from contamination, water damage and impact during transport. Simply labeling things “degradable or recyclable” to make consumers feel less guilty about their convenience-based behavior is just marketing. Everything is degradable sooner or later but the time frame is crucial.


Single material retail packaging design that can be fully recycled or fully degradable.
Packaging designed for multiple lives: adaptable to different sizes/product categories, extending the use from inventory to store, store to display, display to consumer, transport to warehouse or store, to the consumer, and finally to recycling bins.


Social responsibility is a crucial element of innovation. We need more respect and awareness, in regards to who makes our things and their working conditions, how production standards affect local communities and the environmental impact of mass distribution. Everything comes to us with a story, which often remains untold, therefore consumers unknowingly contribute to an anonymous collective act of degradation. Transparency and accountability are key ingredients to bring consumers on board and making them collaborative agents of change. In this frame of mind, re-using and recycling become the norm, resulting in new processes, materials, supply chains and narratives.


The Prize will be awarded to people and organizations committed to experiment, innovate, invent. The value of the projects is not only in the final outcome, but in the process itself.


The aim is to go BEYOND a policy based on “guilt”  and  improve the public’s awareness that every single person is accountable in working towards a solution.   It is necessary communicate the importance of the value of Plastic waste.We must avoid plastic waste before it reaches the waterways.


The Prize is an  opportunity to FANTASIZE, beyond expectations, communication projects directed to multifaceted, worldwide media platforms. Targeted to different audiences,  based on age, culture, education and profession, specific to the needs of the different countries. With particular attention addressing children, they are the best promotors of this change.

We believe in a promotion full of positive energy.




Designers can submit their projects and prototypes from September 6th 2019 to March 12th 2020.


SEPTEMBER 6th, 2019
Prize announcement

MARCH 12th, 2020
Submission deadline

JULY 31th, 2020
Communication of selected finalists

SEPTEMBER 18th, 2020
Submission deadline for prototypes

SEPTEMBER 28th to OCTOBER 4th, 2020
Ro Plastic Prize 2020 Exhibition