SustainOHIO 2019

SustainOHIO Essay Contest 2019

Propose an innovative solution for OHIO for a chance to win a cash prize!


1st Place Recipient is awarded $100

2nd Place Recipient is awarded $50

Essay Prompt

Film plastics are thin, flexible sheets of plastic used in items such as grocery bags, shrink wrap, and consumer paper packaging such as toilet paper and paper towel packaging. Film plastics are recyclable but are often contaminated with food, can clog up recycling machinery, and lack a strong and consistent market. For all these reasons, the Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers no longer accepts film plastics in curbside pickup and unfortunately a large amount of the film plastics we use daily end up in landfill.

For approximately $4900, Ohio University can purchase materials to assemble machines that can turn film plastic into various plastic materials, such as 3D printing filament or molded shapes. The machine designs are available for free from Precious Plastics, an organization that aims to provide open-source information to reduce plastic pollution. The machines would be housed in a plastic recycling workspace on campus where interested people will help assemble, maintain, and create with recycled film plastic from around campus. Both the immediate and future needs of the plastic recycling workspace will need support and collaboration from student organizations and departments at Ohio University.


How To Apply

In 500 words please clearly describe how a plastic recycling workspace can: 

  1. Further Ohio University’s sustainability goals 
  2. Foster collaboration between campus and community. 
  3. Benefit, involve, and retain support from students, student organizations, and departments. (Feel free to discuss a single or multiple organizations or departments in your essay. Essays that interview or survey the organization or department discussed are encouraged.) 

Additionally, discuss the environmental impact, social impact, desirability/feasibility/longevity, ingenuity, and cost effectiveness of the plastic recycling workspace. We encourage you to propose a way to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the program in your essay.

Lastly, propose a way to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the program.


Deadline is Friday April 12th 

Winner announcement: Thursday, April 18th (more information forthcoming)

The SustainOHIO essay contest is organized by the 2018-2019 Graduate Student Senate