Neighbourhood News Update: Plastics Innovation and Circularity Challenge: Entries still open


The production of plastic is a significant environmental burden. More than 99% of plastics are produced from oil, natural gas and coal. Around 4% of all greenhouse gases produced can be attributed to plastic production (that is equivalent to twice that of the aviation and shipping industries).

There is a compelling argument to revisit how we think about plastics. We can and must set out to find solutions to problem plastics – to reduce the demand for plastics where innovation substitutions can be developed; to be more mindful in our day-to-day activities; to develop environmentally kind alternatives.

The Plastics Innovation and Circularity Challenge is part of that movement for change. The Challenge, a joint venture of SOLVE@Waterfront; the Vikara Institute; and Ocean Hub Africa, is inviting applications from enterprises working in the plastics circularity space. They are looking for entries from new or early-stage products, technology and/or services which encourage the reduction or elimination of plastic usage.

There are great prizes to the value of over R400,000 to be won. Amongst other things:

  • A R200 000 cash injection to move your innovation forward,
  • Automatic admission to Ocean Hub Africa’s coveted acceleration programme,
  • Opportunity to pitch your business to a room of likeminded businesses and potential investors at the Ocean Innovation Summit (travel and accommodation included)
  • Access to the 23ha V&A Waterfront, with its annual 26 million visits, to showcase or test suitable products or services.

The closing date: 2 February 2024

“We’re excited about the contribution innovators and entrepreneurs can make to the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ approaches to eliminating tragic plastics,” says Heather Parker of SOLVE@Waterfront, manager of the Challenge. “We witnessed wonderful innovative energy in the South African SMME community when we launched the Challenge last year; and in this, our second year, we’re hoping to see even more of that. We can all see the problem, all around us. The world really needs our solutions.”

For criteria and entry form, please go to