“Make the Case” Student Competition in India

@ http://cappindia.in

The Collaborative Action on Plastic Pollution (“CAPP”) program (formerly the Commitments Accelerator for Plastic Pollution) was created in early 2020, and operates under the auspices of Doug Woodring’s Ocean Recovery Alliance.  It was formed as a result of its UN Environment’s funded 98-page report published in early 2020 titled “Crafting High-Impact Voluntary Commitments to Prevent or Reduce Marine Litter.” CAPP’s mission is to help support, facilitate and incubate initiatives that reduce or prevent plastic pollution from entering our ocean. Its four co-founders hail from the U.S, Europe and Hong Kong.  


In 2020, it secured the active engagement of two flagship nations, the governments of Curacao and Fiji, both island states who have serious proactive efforts to prevent plastic waste, and where the threats of climate change and plastic waste is considerable. Beyond working with its flagship nations, CAPP also found itself launching its first external program in India.  This came in

the form of the “Make the Case” Competition, for MBA and technical students

nationwide, to find top initiatives in India preventing plastic waste (http://cappindia.in)


How? The butterfly, for those involved in chaos theory, was a 3-minute virtual networking session at a UN Compact conference in late September, 2020 between myself and Professor Divya Singhal, the chairperson of the Center for Social Sensitivity and Action of the Goa Institute of Management, Goa, India.


What? Our competition concept was to call upon the brightest youth in

India, students at the top business and technical graduate institutions, to

research, select, and, ultimately showcase proven plastic waste reducing

initiatives they deem worth replicating throughout the country.


The competition was jointly hosted by CAPP, the GOA Institute of Management and the Indian Plastics Institute. A working group met regularly from each organization, including IPI’s Mr. Atul Kanuga, Mr. Sameer Joshi and Mr. Sriman Banerjee. The Chellaram Foundation signed on as our main sponsor, to provide $5000 as prize money to the winning teams.


Why? To highlight a large number of plastic waste initiatives that are making a difference in India; to bring attention to the very best ones; to showcase any and all innovations that generate plastic waste reduction results; and to provide a number of high-impact initiatives that other stakeholders in India (or globally), can replicate.

March 30, 2021 – Final Round Presentations, Panel and Awards

The results 5 months later (www.cappindia.in/awards):·       

  • 165 registered teams;
  • 16 teams qualified for the final round and submitted Case Studies
  • Two judging rounds of student submissions
  • Over 25 reviewers from within India and around the world including academicians and practitioners; and 5 IPI members as Final Round mentors
  • 6 final teams had 7-minute presentations to win the top 3 prizes during a 2.5 hour final online event, which included a panel discussion with the “doers” of the initiatives these teams selected.