On 27 May, we announced the 85 nominees of the What Design Can Do No Waste Challenge. During the open call, creatives submitted ideas responding to at least one of three design briefs, each one tackling a different aspect of our take-make-waste economy. Participants applied to either the Global track or to specific city tracks aimed at finding solutions in Amsterdam, Delhi, México City, Nairobi, São Paulo & Rio and Tokyo.

Today, we take a closer look at the 10 outstanding projects nominated for the São Paulo & Rio track. Developed in collaboration with our partners in Brazil, this track emphasized local perspectives on waste and was open to all participants designing from or for the region.


The following nominees responded to the first design brief, which focuses on the root causes that are fueling our waste problem. It suggests questions like: How can we consume more mindfully and inspire a shift in societal habits and values? Could design help us envision alternatives to buying and owning products?

→ read the full briefing here

Capybara Tales: Kids Podcast

SUBMITTED BY: Mariana Moraes (Brazil) | STRATEGY: Communications    

A joyful and educational podcast series that introduces Brazilian children to socio-environmental issues such as ocean plastic, composting and recycling. This project is also tagged as Brief 3: Handle Smarter.

Nuar: a better impact platform

SUBMITTED BY: Bianca Dallegrave (Brazil) | STRATEGY: Products, Services or systems  

Nuar is an impact platform that aims to cultivate an ecosystem of people, brands, content, services and products that promote the circular economy and encourage people to adopt sustainable ways of living. This project is also tagged as Brief 2: Make Better.


The following nominees responded to the second design brief, which focuses on reducing waste through rethinking how things are made and what they are made of. It suggests questions like: How can we encourage the use of more innovative and sustainable materials? Could we redesign the life cycles of products, so that they are more restorative and/or regenerative?

→ read the full briefing here

Biodegradable Agar Fibers

SUBMITTED BY: Thamires Pontes Lordão (Brazil) | STRATEGY: Products

A project developing circular fibers for the textile industry using biodegradable agar polymers. These could be used as a replacement for nylon, polyester, or other fibers derived from non-renewable petrochemicals.

junibee sustainable solutions

SUBMITTED BY: Fernanda Albertoni (Brazil) | STRATEGY: ProductS

Junibee designs natural, sustainable solutions for everyday life. Among their products is the first vegan wax wrap in Brazil, which is reusable, biodegradable, and can be safely used to store food.

Solo Packaging

SUBMITTED BY: Mateus Viana (Brazil) | STRATEGY: Products

Solo is a food package design made of only one material: dry palm leaves. The packaging doesn’t require any resins, glues or added chemicals, and is naturally biodegradable and compostable.


The following nominees responded to the third design brief, which focuses on the so-called ‘end of the line’, and asks for creative ways to redraw it so that all waste is disposed of in a way that’s safe and sustainable. It suggests questions like: How can we better track and manage the different forms of waste we produce? Could we empower people to view and use waste as a resource?

→ read the full briefing here

ECO Recicla

SUBMITTED BY: Elaine Teixeira dos Santos (Brazil) | STRATEGY: SERVICES OR SYSTeMS

ECO Recicla offers the electric tricycle as a work tool for recyclable material collectors in São Paulo. The tricycle promotes better comfort and safety for waste collectors, and consequently, greater performance. This project is also tagged as Brief 2: Make Better.

Invisible Food

SUBMITTED BY: Daniela Leite (Brazil) | STRATEGY: Services or Systems  

A social startup and platform helping companies reduce their food waste by connecting them with NGOs that serve the city’s most vulnerable. This project is also tagged as Brief 1: Take Less, and Brief 2: Make Better.



DORA is a compact household composting system that was designed to meet the lack of public services specialized in processing organic waste.

Dapoda: design living lab

SUBMITTED BY: Tiago Schutzer (Brazil) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS, Services or systems

What happens to the massive amounts of organic waste that results from urban tree pruning? Dapoda investigates new ways to extend the value of this raw material, through experimental products and designs.

Circular Workshop

SUBMITTED BY: Gustavo A. Cunha Martins (Brazil) | STRATEGY: PRODUCTS, SPACES

The Circular Workshop is a space bringing together makers, designers and waste pickers’ cooperatives to develop circular products made out of recycled materials such as wood and plastic. This project is also tagged as Brief 2: Make Better.


Nominated teams now have the time to improve their submissions before the final jury review in July. Visit our platform for more information about the competition, award package, and to view all the nominees in our project gallery