2 July 2021

Design in Plastics 2021 award winners announced

A student from Brunel University, UK has been awarded first prize in the 2021 Design Innovation in Plastics Competition (DIP), sponsored by IOM3.


Pol Blanch created a product to help reduce pesticide spray drift. The design was created to help people in the developing world, after being inspired by his interest in agriculture and the rural issue of how to apply pesticides safely to vital crops.

Neil Glover CEng FIMMM, President of IOM3 said, ‘More than ever, we need to focus on the sustainability of our products throughout their life cycle. The theme for this year’s awards were perfectly aligned to this imperative. I would like to congratulate all the finalists and wish them every success in their careers.’

Chairman of judges, Richard Brown, added, ‘Pol applied design thinking and conducted extensive research to find a cost-effective solution to a universal problem that threatens both our society and wildlife across the world. His research recognises the scale of the problem and how pesticide overspray damages the natural environment. His product is well designed, and we believe that with some refinement, it is good enough to be commercialised.’ 

Second place was awarded to Christopher Farrell from Technological University Dublin, who designed ‘ClearWater’, a hand-held, user-friendly water quality device to test for the presence of nitrates, phosphates and sulphates in open water. Followed closely by Finlay McEwan, Glasgow School of Art, UK, with Equipoise, a reusable plastic gas canister for outdoor cooking, with a cleverly designed stand for stability on rough terrain. 

The judges also awarded highly commended prizes to Euan Gibson-Smith, Pradip Gurung and Andrei Petrar. 

DIP is supported by IOM3, and the Worshipful Company of Horners, and headline sponsored by polymers manufacturer, Covestro. 

To find out more about the Design in Plastics awards, visit www.designinnovationplastics.org