Young Plastic Challenge Winners and Runners Up Announced, G20 Finance Ministers Pressured to Deliver More Climate Funding for Poor, Meet Carter Brooks 

by | Jul 16, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Young Plastic Challenge winners announced, plus meet the YPC runners up, too. G20 Finance Ministers Under Pressure To Deliver Climate Funding For Poor, and meet climate artist and philosopher, Carter Brooks.



The Young Plastic Pollution Challenge is a unique contest aimed specifically at stopping plastic pollution at its source. Participation is open to students based in The Netherlands between the ages of 18 and 29, and startups that have been around for up to two years.

The jury consists of Fionn Ferreira, the Irish student who won the Google Science Fair in 2019 for his invention to remove microplastics from water; Anne Marieke Eveleens, co-founder and co-creator of The Great Bubble Barrier; Maurits Koning, director of investment fund Ponooc; and representatives of the Spronck Foundation and Plastic Soup Foundation.

The winners are BioMaas, a multicultural and multidisciplinary team of students and recent graduates from Maastricht University and the University of Technology in Eindhoven. Their winning plan to investigate which organic waste is suitable for producing fully compostable products like cups, bowls, plates, and packaging materials.

Their idea is to sell these products to companies in Maastricht that participate in the collection of the required organic material. They also want to publish the production methods completely open-source and thus make them available to everyone. Congratulations!

DEEPER DIVE: Plastic Soup, Maastricht University,



Runners up to the Young Plastics Challenge are just as worth mentioning as the winners — they’ve all got the same great goal: saving the climate by eliminating plastic from the environment.  The First runner up is a Dutch medical student Kim Blommstein.

Blommstein founded The Sustainable Healthcare Foundation in 2020 after she was shocked by the amount of plastic waste hospitals dispose of everyday. Her goal is to make hospitals more sustainable, bundled in a project called Green Healthcare.

“As an intern, I get to see many hospitals from the inside. One of the first things that struck me was that an enormous amount of waste is produced by all departments. I wondered if that could be reduced and started researching this.”  While first runner up for the Young Plastics Challenge, Blommstein actually won the World Wildlife Federation’s INNO Student Challenge.

 Second runner up goes to the Technical University at Delft’s MAPP student team. The seven students developed the BeachBot, a robot that uses artificial intelligence to search the beach for litter and then clean it up. BeachBots are designed to operate in outdoor areas, like beaches and parks,  programmed with artificial intelligence which enables them to efficiently map and collect litter, detecting and acting at the same time.

 The focus was on cigarette butts, ten million kilos of which are thrown away carelessly every year in the Netherlands alone. Cigarette butts, with their partially plastic filters, constitute a major contribution to the plastic soup.

DEEPER DIVE: Young Plastics Challenge, Project BeachBot, Kim Blommstein, GreenHealthCare



After a June summit of G7 leaders ended with a commitment to meet the $100-billion goal but lacked detail on how and when, the U.N. chief, Britain and a group of 48 developing nations called for a clear plan for its delivery.

The world’s 20 largest economies faced mounting calls to boost climate finance for poorer nations as ministers met recently in Italy, with green groups warning a failure to deliver fresh money could throw November’s key climate talks into doubt.

Developed nations are under pressure ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Scotland to deliver a promised $100 billion a year for vulnerable countries to adopt clean energy and adapt to a warmer planet, up from about $80 billion in 2018.

Speaking to G20 finance ministers on Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said such a plan was “not just about the economics of climate change” but also about solidarity and “establishing trust in the multilateral system.” He called $100 billion a year the “bare minimum” wealthier nations should be providing as poorer parts of the world battle fiercer storms, floods and rising seas and try to ramp up clean energy use.

“From the Caribbean to the Pacific, developing economies have been landed with enormous infrastructure bills because of a century of greenhouse gas emissions they had no part in,” he said in prepared remarks. Half of all climate finance should be spent to help countries adapt to a hotter planet, including through resilient housing, elevated roads and early warning systems that save lives and livelihoods, the U.N. chief added.

The G20 meeting will be followed by a climate conference in Venice on Sunday, where governments, investors and development bank officials will discuss how public policies can help attract more private finance into efforts to cut emissions to net zero. 

DEEPER DIVE: Reuters, News Trust, US Treasury Dept.


Carter Brooks calls himself an “artist and philosopher of climate art.” For Carter, “Climate Art is more than just art, and creativity. It’s more than just expanding awareness. More than just communicating ideas. Climate Art is the intersection of Art and the Climate Crisis, so it must be about engaging the subject directly and building capacity in the qualities and talents necessary for the scale of challenge facing humanity and the planetary system as a whole.”

Brooks can now add “author” to his list of accomplishments. He recently published Who Will Cry for the Ice? It’s an ebook adapted from his studies at the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.  

Starting with an examination of how our most basic conceptual metaphors influence how we see climate change, Who Will Cry for the Ice? then examines how competing worldviews dictate how global warming is understood and addressed, and finally how emerging terms create assumptions that influence how global warming is understood.

In 2000, the year that Brooks’ daughter was born, a scientific report forecasted that the polar ice cap would disappear by the time she would reach her grandmother’s age. While environmentalists began to fret about the future, Brooks found himself compelled instead by the urgency of witnessing and discovering meaning in this profound event.

Brooks’ installations of melting ice have been featured at numerous events and festivals, including MountainFilm in Telluride, The Art in Nature Festival, the Bioneers Conference, The San Francisco Green Film Festival, and numerous small events. Carter was selected as one of the first 50 presenters of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

As an entrepreneur, Brooks is also co-founder of Climate Earth, Inc. Surf on over to to get to know Carter Brooks’s art better.

DEEPER DIVE: Carter Brooks, Who Will Cry for the Ice?