Last Friday, we announced the big news. Out of 452 submitted projects to the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge, 57 have been shortlisted for the top prize. Over the next five days, we’ll be taking a closer look at the nominees for each of the five Challenge cities. First up, we turn our attention to México City, where our review team have selected a total of 12 projects as potential winners!

THE BRIEFING

With the help of experts in each region, we crafted five locally specific briefings informed by real stories and global key issues. For México’s capital, the leading question was: How can we encourage people to treat waste as a resource in homes and workplaces across the city?

This sprawling metropolis has struggled with waste for many years. The city generates 12,920 tonnes of garbage every day, with almost 90% of this waste ending up in sanitary landfills. But México City is now in a position to be an example for the region. Building on political momentum, we called on designers to imagine new narratives, services, products, spaces and systems to rethink the waste cycle in México City.

→ See the full briefing pack here    → Dive deeper into stories about México City here

THE NOMINEES

We were thrilled to receive more than 80 innovative ideas responding to the questions above. After a rigorous selection process, 2 projects were nominated for the Student Track, 4 projects for the Professional Track and 6 projects for the Startup Track. See them all (in no particular order) below. Congratulations to everyone who participated!


01. PEL

SUBMITTED BY CLAUS KLINCKWORT | NOMINEE STUDENT TRACK

PEL is a new typology of disposable plate that is designed to be 100% biodegraworks through peelable layers. The product is 100% biodegradable, designed to reach all supermarkets in the city.

→ go to project page


02. BIOGRÜN: CREATING SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES

SUBMITTED BY VALERIA NOVA | NOMINEE STUDENT TRACK

Biogrün is an ecosystem of products and services, including a mobile app and four units designed to prevent and reduce food waste in an urban context.

→ go to project page


03. [IN] VISIBLE WASTE

SUBMITTED BY ANA ZUÑIGA | NOMINEE PROFESSIONAL TRACK

The [in] VISIBLE WASTE project tackles the issue of garbage reduction in Mexico City by creating a platform that centralizes the already more than 250 existing local initiatives that promote sustainable waste disposal practices.

→ go to project page


04. COMPO: A CITY COMPOSTING SYSTEM

SUBMITTED BY FRAME DESIGN STUDIO | NOMINEE PROFESSIONAL TRACK

The CompO system is a user-friendly chain of products and services that aims to reduce the organic waste in México City, by improving the current separation and collection system and creating awareness.

→ go to project page


05. ESCUELA PROMESA: THE SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL CERTIFICATE

SUBMITTED BY MARIO BRINGAS | NOMINEE PROFESSIONAL TRACK

The ‘Escuela Promesa’ program currently runs in 200 schools and universities in the México City metropolitan area. This program aims to create a true environmental culture within schools, through educational and economic incentives like an online voluntary Certificate.

→ go to project page


06. VIEM MX

SUBMITTED BY ANA ZUÑIGA | NOMINEE PROFESSIONAL TRACK

We are a civil organization that was born after the earthquake of September 19, 2017 in Mexico, with the purpose of building homes for those affected by this earthquake, but in a conscious and ecological way using PET bottles.

→ go to project page


07. ECOPLASO: FOOD WASTE UPCYCLING

SUBMITTED BY BARBARA ARTEAGA | NOMINEE STARTUP TRACK

Ecoplaso transforms fruits and vegetables peels and scraps (organic waste) into bioplastic, 3d printing filaments and vegetable-based leather.

→ go to project page


08. PLAN E: CHARITY SECOND-HAND SHOP

SUBMITTED BY OLGA SMIRNOVA | NOMINEE STARTUP TRACK

Plan E is a charity shop aimed at addressing both textile waste and economic inequality in México City. People are encouraged to donate clothes, shoes and accessories. One part of the donations will be given to local NGOs to satisfy the necessities of vulnerable social groups.

→ go to project page


09. CIRCULAR COMMUNITIES FOR HOUSING

SUBMITTED BY RUSHABH CHHEDA | NOMINEE STARTUP TRACK

Using local plastic and glass waste to create simple stack-able building blocks, which empowers communities to build their own homes, making housing construction simpler, cheaper, faster and more sustainable.

→ go to project page


10. BIO PET FOR ENERGY

SUBMITTED BY MINERVA CAMACHO | NOMINEE STARTUP TRACK

This project synthesizes a biodegradable film from discarded PET bottles, for use in the construction of a solar biopanel. The microalgae and nanofluids within the panel help to optimize its operation, absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen.

→ go to project page


11. ECOLANA

SUBMITTED BY LISSETH CORDERO | NOMINEE STARTUP TRACK

Ecolana aims to be the ultimate guide for recycling in México City. The platform provides access to information and builds connections between two types of communities: recycling heroes (citizens) and recycling centers (collectors).

→ go to project page


12. VITAGAS

SUBMITTED BY GABRIELA PEREZ | NOMINEE STARTUP TRACK

Vitagas is a household digester that transforms organic waste into biogas. The digester generates enough biogas to supply several families with a rate of consumption of 1kg waste = 1hr worth of cooking gas.

→ go to project page


WHAT’S NEXT?

From now until February 10th, the Challenge enters a so-called Refinement Phase. During this time, all nominated teams get the opportunity to read the review team’s feedback and improve their submission before a final round of judgement by the international jury in March.

Visit our platform for more information about the timeline, and to view all the submissions in our project gallery. In the coming few days, we’ll highlight more nominated projects on our social media channels and blog. Say hi to our team at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what’s happening.