John Keells Group’s Plasticcycle Launches Start-Up-Cycle: Empowering Innovators and Entrepreneurs to Tackle Plastic Pollution

On 21st August 2023 Plasticcycle, the social entrepreneurship project of the John Keells Group Launched one of its main projects for the year, “Start-Up-Cycle”, a challenge platform launched in collaboration with John Keells X (JKX) – the Group’s startup accelerator, and John Keells Research (JKR) – the Group’s R&D and Innovation arm. It aims to provide Sri Lankan innovators and entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their solutions to address the problem statements provided by Sri Lankan businesses, relating to their challenges in reducing plastic usage and waste, in an effort to seek innovative implementable long-term solutions. Start-Up-Cycle aims to nurture and support selected entrepreneurs and innovators as they incubate and develop their ideas while acting as a driving force for change, inspiring innovative thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit among participants by fostering and empowering the next generation of change-makers, all while striving to create a vibrant ecosystem of solutions to combat plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.

With the increasing enthusiasm shown by individuals in promoting and adopting sustainable practices, at both global and local levels, Start-Up-Cycle strives to become a transformative platform that propels this spirit of innovation. In recent times, Sri Lanka’s retail, hospitality, and consumer foods sectors have encountered substantial obstacles in combating plastic-related concerns. The limited technological advancements within the country and the absence of effective economic policies have rendered the task of overcoming these challenges exceptionally demanding. In response to this urgent issue, Plasticcycle, along with JKX and JKR, is proud to introduce Start-Up-Cycle as a challenge platform designed to unearth pioneering solutions that directly target the issue of plastic pollution within the nation. The challenge will be conducted in four distinct stages. Participants are invited to submit their solutions to the problem statements provided, which highlight the unique plastic-related challenges Sri Lankan businesses encounter in the retail, hospitality, and consumer foods sectors. The primary objective is to find creative and sustainable answers to these industry-specific issues.

Upon submission, all applicants will undergo a rigorous evaluation based on predetermined criteria. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to participate in an exclusive open-day event where they will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the owners and heads of the respective businesses presenting the problem statements. During this interactive session, applicants can delve into the specific details of each challenge and seek clarification, fostering a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. Further, a 6-week programme will be conducted where industry experts from the Legal, Financial, Business processes, and Marketing fields will guide and support the solution providers in their journey toward developing their minimum viable product (MVP). The final stage will be a ‘Demo-day’ at which the solution providers will present their ideas to a panel of judges, who will evaluate the pitches and award the funding to the winning innovator.

This challenge will pave the way for innovative solutions that can revolutionise the way plastic pollution is approached in Sri Lanka. For more information visit

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