The search is on for science, technology and technical innovations that will help reduce and eliminate plastic waste, and be the next great 21st century innovation that could change the world, as the UK-based Commonwealth Litter Programme (CLIP), introduces its STOMP (Stamp Out Marine Plastic Pollution) Awards in South Africa.
The awards, which are open to all South African residents, are grouped into four categories: Technology or Technical Design, Product Development, Inspire through Creativity, and Action.
Finalists in the Technology or Technical Design category will present their ideas or projects at CLIP’s Innovation Conference co-hosted by the Sustainable Seas Trust, titled STEM the tide of plastic waste in Africa, in Cape Town in 4 and 5 December.
The winner will also receive a trip to the UK in 2020, to attend the London CLIP Conference, along with winners from across the Commonwealth, where they will showcase their project. They will also receive further research and development mentoring and support from industry experts at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
With 90% of marine litter made up of plastics that originate from land and sea-based sources, it is one of the most widespread problems facing oceans, and key to coming up with solutions to this plastic pollution problem, are the science, technology and technical innovators.
Speaking about their involvement in the awards Jerome Andrew, Senior Researcher and Project Manager at the CSIR said, “With the ever-increasing challenges around marine plastic that has a direct impact on the quality of life for the people of this country, and its marine life, we are very excited about the possibilities and potential of some ideas that may come through this initiative. It is our organisational objective to undertake directed, multidisciplinary research and technological innovation that contributes to the improved quality of life of South Africans. So we look forward to seeing the submissions and hopefully there will be one brilliant innovation that we can support in becoming a sustainable solution to the plastic problem.”
‘While we are encouraging people to enter into any category in the awards, we are particular interested from a long-term and sustainable point of view, in those studying, researching and working in the science, technology and technical sectors who are the thinkers and creators that are finding new ideas, inventions and innovations that cut across so many aspects of our 21st century lifestyles,” says Duncan Pritchard, from Green Corridors in Durban, the Project Manager of the Awards. “This a global problem and we are looking for those individuals or institutions in South Africa who may have the solutions the world needs. Wouldn’t that be awesome to have a South African innovation blaze the trail in stamping out marine pollution?”
All categories are important to a holistic approach to dealing with the plastic pollution problem and will be awarded and acknowledged. CLIP, however, recognizes that innovations in the technology or technical design category will be where the practical solutions will emanate.
CLIP is led by the United Kingdom through the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), funded by the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and has partnered with Green Corridors, a Durban based non-profit organisation to roll out the awards programme in South Africa.
Entries close on 8 November after which there is a public voting period for one week until 15 November.
All photography by Val Adamson.
- For more information go to www.stompawards.co.za.