Not another (plastic) challenge

The Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) 2020 has established a portfolio of 14 innovative solutions and awarded 4 winning ones the fund to be scaled up in Ha Long Bay (Viet Nam) and Koh Samui (Thailand). Right when you think, “Oh, please! We’ve had enough of these unrealistic contests that only last for a couple of months and never to be heard again”, well, think again, because EPPIC 2020 has proved itself to be different from “just another challenge”. 

Photo by Huynh My Thuan

Innovation competitions to tackle plastic pollution are emerging all the time. In fact, technological innovation is often portrayed as a silver bullet to many of the world’s problems. While it is our opinion that innovation will indeed be required to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time, we posit that it should instead be framed as one single element contributing to the overall alteration of the current system in order to achieve a sustainable impact and move towards a circular economy for plastics. Right from the design stage through to the implementation, we have decided to experiment within predefined areas being the four specific cities of four ASEAN countries, test the EPPIC solutions in these localities and develop strategies for scaling up across the wider ASEAN region, which would make this challenge more impactful, sustainable, and inclusive.

From our experience of running EPPIC for two “seasons”, we have come up with 15 useful takeaways to share our take on running an innovation competition to tackle plastic pollution in the ASEAN region. Read our BLOG which outlines the four key lessons or download the KNOWLEDGE BRIEF which highlights 15 lessons learned extracted from the EPPIC’s experience in running a competition that looked for scalable solutions to reduce plastic pollution in the ASEAN region under the added uncertainty of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

EPPIC has finished its first phase in Viet Nam and Thailand (check out the 14 excellent selected solutions here), and is currently in its second phase – EPPIC 2021, recently having selected 18 finalists targeting Mandalika, Lombok Island (Indonesia) and Samal Island (the Philippines).

For more regular updates on the EPPIC Competition and our work against plastic pollution, like and follow our Facebook page at Ocean or Plastic?

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