Island Climate Initiative, USAID launch Island Plastics Challenge to help consumer goods companies address plastic waste
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, November 28, 2022 – In support of the Ministry of Environment’s policy on plastic waste reduction, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) partner, Island Climate Initiative (ICI) under USAID’s global Clean Cities Blue Ocean Program, is calling on innovators around the world to design solutions to help Sri Lanka’s leading consumer goods companies reduce their plastic footprint.
Successful applicants whose solutions best address consumer goods companies’ top single-use plastic challenges will get the opportunity to pitch their technology to leading companies at a solution showcase that will be held in early 2023. Winners’ solutions may be implemented contributing to global efforts to reduce the more than eleven million tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year. The online challenge platform is now publicly open for applications on ICI’s website. Innovators and start-ups, both local and overseas, are all invited to apply.
“USAID strongly believes that successful development initiatives are achieved through partnerships and collaboration. We look forward to working with Island Climate Initiative as they identify and facilitate the piloting of viable and scalable solutions to change the way we produce, consume, and manage plastic packaging waste to stem the tide of ocean plastic pollution,” said USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Economic Growth Advisor Mark Peters.
“At ICI, we are constantly trying to push forward sustainable innovation in areas that matter. We believe that building circular economies is critical to sustainable development, and our Island Plastics Challenge is our latest venture in this space,” said Charinda Dissanayake, ICI’s Managing Director. “We are excited to collaborate with and be supported by USAID, the Ministry of Environment, and key players of Sri Lanka’s fast moving consumer goods sector to improve plastic waste management in Sri Lanka and foster innovation.”
The challenge supports Sri Lanka’s National Action Plan for Plastic Waste Management, led by the Ministry of Environment. Sri Lanka’s consumer goods sector is a key user of single-use plastic packaging, and companies within the sector are looking for ways to innovate and introduce more sustainable methods of delivering their products to consumers.
“The Sri Lankan government is grateful to find allies in USAID, Island Climate Initiative, and the private sector to address the severe plastic pollution in our country,” said Naseer Ahamed, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Environment. “We look forward to working with this coalition to identify, test, and scale locally driven solutions to address our growing issues on plastic waste and enhance our waste management systems to protect our oceans and the environment.”