The Afri-Plastics Challenge has announced the 15 finalists of its strand Accelerating Growth, which aims to reward innovative downstream solutions for managing plastic waste after it has been used and discarded.
The 15 finalists have been selected from 30 semi-finalist teams announced in November 2021. The Afri-Plastics Challenge is funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by the London-based innovation foundation, Nesta Challenges.
At the time, each team received grants of £10,000 to grow their ideas and demonstrate their scalability in advance of judging. A further £100,000 will now be granted to each of the finalists to advance their solutions to plastic waste management. Three winners will be announced in March 2023. First place will be awarded £1 million, second place will be awarded £750,000 and third place will be awarded £500,000.
Constance Agyeman, director of international development at Nesta Challenges, comments: “The solutions to Africa’s ever-increasing struggle with managing the rising tide of plastic pollution are already out there, but they need the right backing to grow. The Afri-Plastics Challenge is supporting the most promising sub-Saharan African innovators to refine and scale local ideas to have impact on the continent.”
Honourable Harjit Sajjan, minister of international development for the Government of Canada, adds: “As custodians of the longest coastline in the world, our responsibility to the health of the oceans does not stop at the edge of Canada’s waters. The global marine ecosystem is complex and deeply interconnected – plastic pollution in sub-Saharan Africa has global consequences once it enters lakes, rivers and the ocean.
”The 15 inspiring finalists of the Afri-Plastics Challenge: Accelerating Growth strand are leading the way in successfully tackling the enormous quantities of plastic pollution being produced across Africa through ingenious and community-focused projects that have great potential to scale across the continent and beyond.”
The 15 finalists are:
• TakaTaka Solutions (Kenya)
• Watamu Marine Association (Kenya)
• CareMe Bioplastics (Rwanda)
• Chaint Afrique Academy (Ghana)
• Green Industry Plast – Togo/GIP-TOGO (Togo)
• Nelplast Eco Ghana Limited (Ghana)
• Chanja Datti Ltd (Nigeria)
• eTrash2Cash (eT2C) Company Nigeria (Nigeria)
• Greenhill Recycling (Nigeria)
• Planet 3R (Nigeria)
• Mega Gas Alternative Energy (Kenya)
• RECYPLAST (Côte d’Ivoire)
• FULL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY/FDA (DR Congo)
• RAMTSILO (South Africa)
• Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children (MEDIC) (Nigeria)
The Afri-Plastics Challenge has also selected 25 semi-finalists in the second Creating Solutions strand, with projects focusing on plant-based alternatives to plastics for food packaging, construction materials, and sanitary products, among others. From these semi-finalist, 10 finalists will be selected in June 2022, with the winners announced in January 2023.