SCET will offer its Deplastify the Planet course in collaboration with Schoolab in Spring 2021. Participating students will have the opportunity to create a venture project that creates practical solutions for companies to reduce their use of plastic.
In a video released to commemorate the 5th anniversary of of the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change, the Office of Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States recognized the partnership between Schoolab, a innovation firm focused on making positive impact, with the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET) in creating their course, Deplastify the Planet. The course empowers students to create solutions for companies to help them reduce plastic use.
Since its beginning in 2019, students in the Deplastify the Planet course have created innovative solutions to reducing plastic use in industry. For example, Team UpCycle was very creative in their project which helped reduce plastic by working with partner Whole Foods to recycle food waste and turn it into sustainable packaging for Method. Team UpCycle placed 3rd in the Spring 2020 Collider Cup event. (Watch the full video interview with Team UpCycle.)
Another team helped redesign the supply chain for Faurecia, a global leader in automotive technology, by discovering that many plastic parts could be replaced with henequen fibers, which could be locally sourced near Faurecia’s plants in Mexico. (More past projects can be found on Deplastify the Planet.)
In the course, students have the opportunity to work directly with companies, making their solutions incredibly relevant and impactful. Past companies that have participated in the course include, Method, Whole Foods, Recology SF, Nestle, Danone, Samsung, Faurecia, Lonely Whale Foundation and others. The Spring 20201 course will feature exciting corporate partners, including Microsoft, Allbirds, Bank of the West, Ecover, and Surfrider. Students also network and receive mentorship from companies and learn the fundamentals of product design to gain skills that are in high demand in industry.
For interested Berkeley students, the course will return in Spring 2021! More information about the course can be found here.