2021 Competition

RePack to Restore Our World

Theme of 2021

"Rethink food packaging for school and workplace lunches!"

Plastic. It is one of the most important materials in protecting, preserving and transporting food. It is flexible, transparent, strong, light and waterproof. Without plastic packaging, many of our food products would be difficult to transport or perish before we could consume them.

Plastic, however, has an enormous environmental impact. We know that the world has a plastic problem. Plastic pollution is filling up our landfills and our oceans and will take thousands of years to break down.

What can we do?

We can use innovative ideas and modern technology to devise new, sustainable ways of packaging food to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced.
The competition theme in 2021 reflects two major concepts: Technological innovation, and the replacement of plastic packaging: (Re)Pack to restore our world.
In this year’s competition, you will need to consider how food can be conveniently (re)packaged without using plastic.

Competition Requirements

The competition is open to students aged 9 to 21. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, BIEA has adapted this year’s competition so it can be completed remotely, with entries submitted via email. Students can enter as part of a team (of up to 5 people) or as an individual competitor (however individual entries may lose mark in the team aspect). Schools may have more than entry. Students who are unable to attend school may submit entries as an individual competitor, although all competitors under the age of 18 or in high school must be registered by a responsible adult (e.g. teacher or parent). All entrants who submit submissions will receive certificates.

Competition Overview

Following last year's popular online format. This year’s competition will remain online to allow as many students from around the world to participate. Judging criteria remains rigorous with experts from industries and universities.

Suggested student age categories are: 9-11 years old, 12-14 years old, 15-17 years old and 18-21 years old, although siblings or students of different age categories can participate together. In these cases, we will take the eldest student’s age to use against the marking criteria.


Task 1 Report writing: Competitors will use the Internet and other secondary sources to research, design and write a report on the 'RePack to Restore Our World' project, developing alternative food packaging material for preserving and transporting food.

Task 2A Innovation (prototyping): In this task, we would like you to make non-plastic packaging for each of the food types described in your report. Please submit the final prototype packaging as photos embedded into a PDF document.

Task 2B Experimentation: We would like you to experiment with your prototype designs to help inform your final decisions. These can be simple experiments that highlight the suitability of your design for each food that you have chosen. You will need to summarise your findings into a short video. The number of experiments and the length of the video depends on your age category.

International Round

The details of the international rounds will be announced in May, we are keeping a close watch on the pandemic and making adjustments accordingly.

There will be live QA sessions with the judges. Details to be announced closer to the events.

Important Dates

28th Jan 2021 - BIEA STEM 2021 Announcement

30th April 2021 - Submission deadline of first-round work. Including report, innovation prototypes and experimentation video.

June 2021 - TBC, Mystery community task, international round for finalists

July 2021 - TBC, Online Q&A, Award Ceremony

April to Nov 2021 - TBC, events alongside of COP26 Glasgow

Awards & Honours

Rewards for your hard work

The team with the highest overall score will receive the £1,000 grand-prize. Each age category winner and runners up will receive certificates. All entrants will receive a certificate as well. 

See below for details of all the categories:

  • BIEA Grand prize (£1,000 for the winning team)

For each age group*:

  • Champion
  • First Runner-up
  • Second Runner-up
  • Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Best Report Award
  • Best Oral Presentation Award
  • Best Prototype Award
  • Best Creativity Award
  • Best Instructor Award
  • Best Experiment Award
  • Best Display Award
  • Best Effort Award
  • Best Participation Award

*Award categories may subject to change

Special awards:

  • UK CREST Silver award

The CREST Awards is accredited by the British Science Association, which aims to help students to undertake projects in STEM related areas. Students' achievements in the BIEA International STEM Youth Innovation Competition can be recognised with awards at silver level.

Thank you!