The Afri-Plastics Challenge has launched its second strand dubbed Creating Solutions. This edition invites individuals or organizations with a new or early-stage idea that seeks to reduce or eliminate plastic usage across Sub-Saharan Africa to apply for the Afri-Plastics Challenge.

Creating Solution comes after the competition’s ongoing first leg, Accelerating Ideas, launched in July this year. The first round invited entrepreneurs from across Sub-Saharan Africa to showcase their best innovations designed to improve plastic waste management.

In recent years, the demand for plastic has substantially increased in Sub-Saharan Africa with over 17 million tonnes of waste generated by the region annually. Of this, only 12% of plastic waste is recycled. The quantities of waste produced easily outpace the development of waste management systems, and recycling is still not an economically or technically viable option for several types of plastic.

For the second strand, Creating Solutions, 25 finalists and three winners will be selected by a panel of experienced and professional judges who will assess the entries. The applicants’ ideas will be evaluated against criteria such as innovation, empowerment of women and girls, social impact in the community, environmental impact and the applicants’ capability to achieve success.

Judges include Dr. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, UN Environment Programme Director and Regional Representative for Africa, Matthew Haden, a solid waste management expert and Radhia Mtonga, a Zambian social entrepreneur.

“It’s extremely exciting to be part of an initiative committed to finding innovative solutions that promote the circular plastic economy while simultaneously improving the social economic standing of women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa” says Radhia Mtonga.

By the end of the second leg of the Challenge, successful community-centered products and services will have demonstrated a sustainable approach to reducing the reliance on plastic. In the long-term, the development and scaling of the innovators’ solutions will encourage the creation of new, sustainable local enterprises, bringing economic opportunity to these communities and contributing to poverty reduction.

The Afri-Plastics Challenge is funded by the Government of Canada, and delivered by Nesta Challenges. Applications close on Wednesday, 1st December, 2021 12 PM GMT. Click here to apply.