YABT and PepsiCo Latin America announce the launch of Eco-Challenge 2021

Washington DC, September 28, 2020 – The Eco-Challenge is the special category for sustainable innovation in the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas). The program was created in 2009 by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), the Organization of American States (OAS) and PepsiCo Latin America. Today, they officially announce the launch of the 12th edition, directed at young entrepreneurs from Latin America with sustainable and innovative ideas. 

Eco-Challenge 12.0 promotes a new vision of plastic and contributes to a sustainable future in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Eco-Challenge 12.0, we seek to identify scalable and sustainable solutions that will allow the industry and the consumer to go beyond the traditional use of plastic, and to build a world in which this material does not become waste. All this through the reduction, reuse, recycling and reinvention of it.  Eco-Challenge calls for young people from Latin America and the Caribbean to become partners in the development of solutions to the challenges that we all face as a society.

PepsiCo, as a part of their Winning with Purpose strategy, has developed a vision of Sustainable Plastics, so that their packaging never becomes waste. To achieve this, the company has important goals to reach by 2025, including that 100% of their packaging be recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable.  Along with increasing recycled resin content in their plastic bottles to 25% and reducing the content of virgin plastic in their drink portfolio by 35%.


“At PepsiCo Latin America, we’ve been working with different recycling efforts for the past 12 years,” stated Erick Scheel, president of PepsiCo Latin America. “This is a priority topic in our business agenda, not only regionally but also globally.  We are aware that we need partners and innovation to create a circular economy. We need different solutions, and that’s why we’re betting on the talent, innovation and enthusiasm of the youth in our region, so we can work together to tackle these issues.”


We invite the young Latin American and Caribbean innovators and entrepreneurs – between the ages of 18 and 34 – to participate in Eco-Challenge 12.0, developing solutions that will help us go beyond plastic, promoting models of a circular economy, and the participation of  society and industry, working together and in coordination. 

This year, the Eco-Challenge 12.0 has two categories:

Reinvent: Beyond the Bottle: To develop innovative solutions and new technologies focused on creating alternative packaging material that is recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable to replace or reduce the use of traditional plastic bottles (PET).

Recycle and Reuse: Support the circular economy of plastic by developing tools, strategies, and programs that will allow for the increase of scalable recycling channels, and to create different post-consumer uses for each package, allowing them to be introduced back into the market.


“Through the Eco-Challenge, the youth of Latin America and the Caribbean not only take the responsibility and the challenge of working together to find innovative solutions that will help us develop in a sustainable manner, but they also have access to resources that will help them understand the context, develop solutions, and implement them.  This allows for a platform of support, mutual exchange, and investment. For more than a decade, YABT, PepsiCo and the OAS, together with the youth of the region, have demonstrated the importance of spaces of effective participation in the development of our region.” Luis Viguria, CEO, Young Americas Business Trust.


The Eco-Challenge was created in 2009, and in its 11 editions, has received 18,702 business proposals, submitted by 24,271 young entrepreneurs in more than 33 countries across the region, and awarding 44 projects and US$220,000 in seed capital.

The registrations for Eco-Challenge 12.0 starts on September 28, through the program’s website: www.ticamericas.net/eco-challenge/. For more information, please visit YABT’s websites: www.yabt.net or www.ticamericas.net.

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