CIRCUL-A-THON finalists present solutions for transport, electronics, packaging and healthcare

Hungry on energy, materials and manpower, vehicle manufacturing presents a formidable appetite for new ideas that will reduce waste, and winners in the ‘transportation’ category showcased some of the latest thinking along these lines.

Finalists have been announced for the CIRCUL-A-THON design competition – run by chemicals firm SABIC – which lauds designers’ efforts to create reusable and recyclable products.

The eight finalists range across four sectors: transportation, electronics, packaging and healthcare, and a full list is provided below.

In the packaging category, for example, the judges said they were looking for optimized, environmentally friendly packaging solutions that maintain food and product safety. Finalists included fruit and vegetable packaging that can be used as a kitchen bowl and lightweight and foldable reusable boxes and bags.

In the electronic category, entrants have to address the challenge of producing electrical devices that can be easily disassembled, remanufactured, reused, and recycled to reduce waste. The finalist here was a pair of 3D-printed headphones.

Entrants in the healthcare solutions category were asked to design high-performance and eco-friendly materials to build advanced solutions with a competitive edge to encourage sustainable consumer behaviour. Successful entries included an electric breastfeeding pump and a 3D printed hip dysplasia apparatus for babies.

And in the transportation category, competitors were expected to come up with high-performance vehicle designs that generate minimal waste and have a smaller carbon footprint. They also had to ensure that they adhered to changing safety requirements and standards as well as balancing evolving customer preferences and megatrends, such as connectivity, autonomous driving, car sharing, and electrification. Successful designs submitted in this category included a scooter to be used in India’s taxi services.

Entrants were assessed for the uniqueness and creativity of idea, innovative use of plastics, potential sustainability impact, and value to the end user, including functional, ergonomic, and aesthetical aspects. The awardees were recognized at a ceremony in May during the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics Conference in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

The competition has been undertaken in partnership with Plug and Play – an innovation platform connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies.

The full list of the 2023 award finalists is provided below.


  • Heather Lopez – FROOT
  • This is a packaging system for fruits and vegetables that doubles as a bowl in the kitchen. It is 100% recyclable, stackable, portable, and reusable. It allows excellent content visibility and superior physical protection.

  • Carmen To – RE:PUBLIC
  • This is a reusable, universal form of packaging / dunnage, suited for reusing and repurposing by its users.

  • Dominic Moers – HEY CIRCLE
  • Not only waste, but also CO2 emissions are reduced by these robust, lightweight and foldable reusable boxes and bags.


  • Mohammed Jaseel – BIKE TAXI
  • This is a specifically designed scooter for taxi services in India.

  • Bhushan Deshmukh – POLYMORPH
  • The design integrates a range of innovative functionalities, resulting in a reduced number of parts and ultimately lowers the cost of the vehicle.

  • Steve Bailey – ICS
  • Its body system allows greater flexibility and upgradeability to increase whole vehicle lifespan and reduce current high scrappage volumes.


  • Carlos Casal Gonzales – AMAIA
  • AMAIA is an electric pump designed to turn breastfeeding into a comfortable process while also tackling efficiency from a different perspective.

  • Mario Marco – LAZO
  • This is an innovative, plastics-oriented design, that helps reduce physical and psychological injuries, ensuring safety of patients as well as hospital staff.

  • Eva Vera Garcia – HIPCARE
  • A 3D-printed design offers maximum comfort to babies, while treating them for hip dysplasia.


  • Philipp Schaake – 3D PRINTED HEADPHONES
  • The design is optimized for light weight, minimal use of materials and the one-part housing can be separated easily from the technical components after its lifetime.

    CIRCUL-A-THON’s judges included:

  • Gianmauro Vella, Head of Design, APAC & AMESA at PepsiCo
  • Shiro Nakamura, Executive Officer at SN DESIGN PLATFORM Inc.
  • Mahendra Patil, Director User Experience Design at GE Healthcare
  • Geert Jan Schellekens Chief Designer at SABIC,
  • Dr. Turki Baroud Founding Chairman, Materials Science and Engineering Dept. at KFUPM and
  • Fatima Al Raisi, Environmental Systems Coordinator at QAFCO.