Oceans make up 99% of all the habitable space for life on Earth. We depend on them for food, medicine, energy, and raw materials for our daily lives.

Increasingly, however, oceans’ marine biodiversity, their rich ecosystems, and the livelihoods of coastal communities are all under threat.

Plastic is destroying marine life and polluting the oceans at an unprecedented rate.  Plastic waste does not know borders, traveling across seas, rivers, and deltas to affect all societies and economies. It is also a key driver of climate change: emissions from plastic will reach 17% of the global carbon budget within the next three decades.

Without action, we risk having more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

What is EPPIC?

Spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) is a brand-new ASEAN-wide competition calling for all innovators to share their bright ideas for tackling plastic pollution with the world.

Innovative ways to fight ocean plastic are already being developed, but they often lack the support or visibility they need to grow. EPPIC provides an exciting opportunity for innovators to receive seed funding and incubation training to help them maximise their chances of success.

What are we looking for?

EPPIC is looking for innovative solutions that contribute to the creation of a circular economy by preventing plastic waste and pollution at the local level, such as solutions that:

  • Prevent the production and consumption of plastic
  • Reduce single-use plastics and offer models for reuse
  • Eliminate problematic/unnecessary plastic through redesign, innovation, and new models of delivery
  • Decouple the use of plastic from the consumption of finite resources, particularly fossil feedstock
  • Develop or scale new recycling process
  • Educate and empower people to change their behaviour

Examples of solutions:

  • A mobile app that incentivizes boats for responsible collection, disposal, and recycling of plastic waste
  • New materials to replace single-use plastic, including beauty/hygiene containers, uniforms, fishing gear, or Styrofoam
  • Drone, data visualization, or crowd-sourcing tools to map plastic waste flow and increase collection
  • Governance mechanisms to support municipalities in the enforcement of plastic regulations
  • 100% recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable alternative products
  • High-quality products that increase the economic value of recycled polymers
  • Outstanding communication and behavioral change campaigns that change people’s attitudes

EPPIC Prizes

Challenge winners can look forward to:

Top 10-15 Finalists

  • 3-month incubation training

Top 4 EPPIC Winners

  • 9-month impact acceleration programme
  • Up to USD$18,000 in equity-free seed funding each
  • Opportunities to network with impact investing firms and other key development players in the ASEAN region

Take the Challenge


January – September 2021

Impact acceleration for 4 winners of EPPIC 2020

16 March 2021

Launch of EPPIC Phase II in Indonesia and the Philippines

23 May 2021

EPPIC 2021: Applications close

28 June 2021

Announcement of 17 finalists of EPPIC 2021

10 December 2021

EPPIC 2021 Final Pitching Competition

December 2021 – August 2022

Impact acceleration for 4 winners of EPPIC 2021