Open call for Innovation Challenge solutions, women leaders on the front lines, and more

MARCH 2021
« Your monthly briefing on plastic waste and pollution impact around the world »

If you only have 5 minutes, read this:

  • Innovation Challenge OPEN to applications: In collaboration with UpLink, the World Economic Forum’s platform for crowdsourcing solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals, the Indonesia NPAP has launched the “Informal Plastic Collection Innovation in Indonesia” Challenge, which calls for innovative solutions to improve the integration of the informal sector in Indonesia’s waste management economy. Applications are open until 2 May.
  • Welcome to Annika Green: We are pleased to welcome Annika Green to the GPAP Secretariat as Country Platforms Specialist. Annika brings a diverse background in topics related to public health and environmental sustainability, and has managed projects in the area of climate change and building climate resilient health systems. In this role, Annika will work closely with colleagues in the NPAP secretariats in Indonesia, Ghana and Viet Nam, launch the upcoming partnership with Nigeria, and engage future NPAP countries.
  • Join our growing team in Ghana: We are actively hiring for an Engagement Lead and Communications Specialist to join the Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership, hosted at Impact Hub Accra. Please help share this LinkedIn post with your networks.

Latest Insights

NPAP Indonesia launches Informal Waste Collection Innovation Challenge

For Indonesia to radically reduce plastic pollution and effectively manage plastic waste, a key priority lies in boosting the waste collection capacity of the informal sector. In partnership with the World Economic Forum’s UpLink, and with support from the Incubation Network, the Indonesia NPAP has launched a Challenge to crowdsource solutions to address this gap. Winners will enter a 3-month programme and receive mentorship, resources, and a financial award.

Read more in this blog post by GPAP Operations Lead Nour Chaabane and NPAP Indonesia Manager Hidayah Hamzah.

Explore the newly launched Indonesia Innovation Roadmap here.

Women leaders on the frontlines of fighting plastic waste and pollution

Women are disproportionately affected by plastic pollution. They also hold the key to defeating it.

We spoke to three outstanding women leaders in the GPAP community – Dune Ives of Lonely Whale; LE Thi Thu Thuy of Vingroup; and Adwoa Coleman of Dow – on what it means to lead in the plastic action space, and how gender equality can become a reality through our work.

In a blog post for WWF, Erin Simon, Head of Plastic Waste and Business at WWF, also shines a spotlight on women leaders working in innovation, science, local action and community-building, including Kristin Hughes, Director of GPAP.

Photo: Yarrow Kraner / WWF

Want to stop plastic pollution? Start by supporting your local zero-waste business

“Increasingly, the world is realizing that recycling alone will not save us from plastic pollution,” writes Christian Kaufholz, GPAP Manager of Affiliated Programmes, in an op-ed that was recently published in the print Guardian. “The vast amounts of plastic waste that endanger life in the ocean and on land must be tackled at all points of the supply chain, by every actor.”

Muuse, Algramo and MIWA are just three examples of innovative start-ups that are actively reducing humanity’s plastics footprint through championing the circular economy. Read more about them here.

Indonesia teamed up with the World Economic Forum two years ago to fight plastic pollution. Here’s what we’ve achieved.

Two years ago, we brought together policymakers, experts, businesses, entrepreneurs and civil society organizations to create Indonesia’s pioneering National Plastic Action Partnership. Two years on, the NPAP is Indonesia’s leading platform for public-private collaboration, with more than 150 member organizations determined to end plastic pollution in our country.

In a new blog post, NPAP Indonesia Engagement Specialist Kirana Agustina reflects on the progress that the NPAP has made in just two years – and looks ahead to priorities for 2021.

Thousands of informal waste workers equipped with protective gear

Through a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom, we have had the privilege of facilitating financial support to civil society organizations that are working in Ghana, Indonesia and Viet Nam to provide essential resources to informal sector waste workers, who are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 and other unsafe working conditions.

Please take a moment to learn about these organizations and contribute to their efforts to support informal workers:

Indonesia: Greeneration Foundation

Viet Nam: ENDA

Ghana: WIEGO

Photo: ENDA

Protective equipment, food supply, and hygiene kits distributed to 1,000 waste workers in Indonesia

Thank you to Greeneration Foundation for sharing photos and insights into how this collaboration has already successfully reached 1,000 waste management operators and waste pickers in 10 Indonesian provinces. With the help of many local partners working to distribute materials and resources across Indonesia, workers have benefitted from aid packages containing food supplies, hand sanitizer and soap, personal protective equipment, and other resources. We look forward to sharing more updates on these efforts.

Photo: Greeneration Foundation

High-level roundtable kicks off a global dialogue on financing the circular plastics economy

On 4 March, GPAP partnered with HRH The Prince of Wales and the Sustainable Markets initiative to convene 12 CEO-level stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on financing the circular plastics economy.

The dialogue kickstarted discussions on GPAP’s unlocking financing impact area and paved the way for forthcoming efforts on this effort at the global level. It aims to understand the current situation regarding financing the plastic circular economy, the current blockers to attracting traditional investments for plastic action in emerging markets, and what it will take to address these blockers and attract investments – traditional, donor and blended – into the NPAPs.

GPAP is now working to build a global working group on financing and welcomes expressions of interest and suggestions of key stakeholders to involve. We look forward to working with you on this critical initiative.

Your help needed: Take the Ghana NPAP member survey to tell us more about your work

Do you have two minutes to help us understand more about your work to address plastic waste and pollution in Ghana?

The Ghana NPAP is working to identify solutions and partners across the plastics value chain to support build outs its national platform. We need to hear from you to understand what interventions are needed so that solutions happening on the ground can be scaled to achieve measurable impact.

Please take the survey here, and feel free to share the link with others in your network.

Stories of impact: new report from the Friends of Ocean Action

The Friends of Ocean Action has published its Phase I impact report detailing the most significant results so far of its work in fast-tracking solutions for a healthy ocean.

The Friends of Ocean Action Impact Report takes stock of results delivered through its 12 workstreams, called action tracks, which have focused on helping to deliver the Sustainable Development Goal for the ocean, SDG 14.

It reviews impact in areas ranging from marine protection and ending illegal fishing to eliminating harmful fisheries subsidies and decarbonizing shipping. For insights into GPAP, which represents the plastic action pillar of the Friends of Ocean Action, take a look at page 14.

Pilot project in Nam Dinh, Viet Nam holds lessons of success for waterway municipal plastic waste management

With the support of USAID, the Center for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), a member of the Viet Nam NPAP, has successfully implemented a pilot project to improve municipal plastic waste management in Nam Dinh.

The project has achieved quantifiable results, including “over 320 tonnes of plastic waste collected, sorted and treated through the project's initiatives and solutions; over 18,500 people directly participated in project activities, nearly 3,400 people have been strengthened capacity through training.” Read more here.

Events on the Horizon

22 April  |  Virtual Meeting

Country Spotlight: Ghana

Hosted by GPAP and the Ghana NPAP


26 April  |  Virtual Meeting

Ghana Country Strategy Dialogue

Hosted by the World Economic Forum; GPAP to participate


Q2 2021  |  Virtual Meeting

Meeting of the GPAP Governing Council

Hosted by GPAP


17-20 August  |  Conference

Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore
Hosted by the World Economic Forum

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