The Challenge: Circular Economy Solutions — Rethinking Plastic

Identify, segregate and provide solutions to optimise plastic waste recycling using circular economy principles

Challenge Partner

Challenge Context & Description

Shell Australia has launched a national waste reduction initiative, focused on the principles of reducing, reusing and recycling across all areas of its waste production profile with an aspiration to send zero waste to landfill.

Shell Australia is interested in exploring innovative concepts and technologies for making the best use of waste streams across its WA, NT and QLD operations. One core area of interest is recycling waste using circular economy principles, where the solution also provides these benefits:

  • Local and Indigenous content opportunities;
  • Cost savings and/ or efficiencies to supply chain activities;
  • Value to local community stakeholders;
  • Reduction of waste in landfill; and
  • Safety improvement to current waste processing and/ or transport operations.

The Opportunity

Shell aims to reduce its waste sent to landfill and achieve the target of at least 80% overall waste recycling and reuse.

Shell-operated Prelude FLNG’s current waste stream consists of 80% recyclable plastics which are easily segregated and collected. However, approximately 5-10% of plastic waste is non-recoverable. There is an opportunity to identify solutions that assist in segregating plastic from comingled waste streams, where normal physical separation techniques are not adequate.

Shell is also aiming to find locally-made and innovative solutions to produce long-lasting, reusable, toxic-free plastic products. Using circular economy principles, Shell is interested in restorative and regenerative design solutions to use waste by keeping the value of plastics unimpaired in the economy. This means materials flow in a 'closed loop' system, rather than being used once and discarded.


If you have any questions about the challenge, check out the Q&A section at the bottom of the page and you can post new queries through our Q&A form.

Q&As: Circular Economy Solutions — Rethinking Plastic

1. Reusable product
  • A solution which fits the principles of a circular economy (is well designed, re-usable and sustainable).
  • A solution providing durable and good quality products.
  • A solution which is preferably transferrable across multiple industries.
2. Safe segregation of plastic
  • A solution that provides recoverable plastic able to be recycled and reused.
  • A solution where the separation technique is low carbon intensive.
  • A solution which is preferably transferrable across multiple industries.
  • A solution which is preferably easy to implement and cost effective.
  • The process should adhere with all the necessary health and safety requirements.
Sure. Collaborative solutions are welcome and there is a dedicated box in the EOI form that caters for this.
Yes, but the WA-based company must be the lead applicant.
No, the pilot phase could include demonstration of a prototype or proof of concept.
If you meet the other criteria, we suggest you submit an EOI. Open innovation challenges are as much about potential solutions as they are about existing commercial technologies. There is nothing to lose and potentially much to be gained by letting the Challenge Owners know about what you are working on.