Climathon 2018: London’s winning idea? To become the ‘milkman’​ of fresh-food packaging!

London was one of seven cities in the UK and Ireland – and 114 around the world – to take part in Climathon 2018.

Climathon is all about engaging citizens and helping them to innovate together in response to challenges set by city officials – during a 24hr hackathon that takes place simultaneously in cities all over the world! Climathon gets bigger every year. This year’s Climathon was the biggest global climate action hackathon in history. 


Eight teams pitched to win the London Climathon this year – which was hosted by London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) in close collaboration with the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB). The winning team will work with LWARB to take their idea forward.

London’s Climathon 2018 challenge?

How can sustainable design principles be used to eliminate single-use plastic waste in London?

The winning idea

The winning idea came from Cyclean. They conceived of a business service that provides, washes and returns reusable food containers to food markets – e.g. Borough Market.

Appalled by the volume of single-use plastic for ready-made food (especially food that was eaten immediately) the team wondered, “What if busy food vendors packaged their food in durable, reusable containers made from surplus plastic waste – and then a service provider washed and returned the containers every day, like a milkman or laundry service for packaging?”


Single-use plastics are out of here

During the event it was announced that the European Parliament had voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics:

In joint second place:

Kebow pitched an idea to incentivise takeaway food users to deposit their waste plastic packaging at dedicated recycling points. Tokens received at recycling points could be used elsewhere, according to a range of attractive reward structures.

Reconstruct pitched an idea to collect and remake plastic construction packaging into construction safety equipment, using 3D printing.

About Climathon 2018

Climathon is an annual event run by Climate-KIC. This year 114 cities in 44 countries took part. 

Other winning ideas from the UK and Ireland in 2018

Keep in touch

If you’d like to follow the progress of our Climathon 2018 winners in the UK and Ireland, and other Climate-KIC initiatives, the best way to do that is:

  • Follow us @ClimateKIC_UKI
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