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UK South Africa Tech Hub Plastics Innovation & Circularity Challenge 2023

UK South Africa Tech Hub Plastics Innovation & Circularity Challenge 2023. Apply below.

Apply for Africa's Business Heroes Competition

When is Application Deadline?

17th January 2023

Tell Me About Award:

Over 300 million tons of plastic is produced annually, half of which goes into single-use items such as shopping bags, cups and straws. More than 8 million tons of this ends up in our oceans. There are multiple domestic and global initiatives addressing this challenge, all of which require innovation at every step of the plastics value chain.

With the support of UK South Africa -Tech Hub, an initiative of the UK Government, and in association with our partners Ocean Hub Africa[email protected] is calling for innovative solutions to address plastic issues in South Africa.

Who is Eligible?

  • Your startup is contributing to plastic circularity
  • You are an incorporated for-profit and operate in South Africa
  • You are a scalable service or product currently or soon to be available on the market
  • Your product or service is clearly innovative and/or your business model is disruptive
  • You are looking to grow your economic, social, and environmental impact

This challenge is for you…

…If you are based in South Africa, and have developed an innovative business/technological solution to problem plastics, such as:

  • Technologies/systems to increase the rate of plastic collection
  • Technologies/behaviour change to facilitate the separation of waste after use or at the source
  • A solution to better manage low-value plastics (single-use plastics, multi-layered packaging) through reuse and recycling
  • Digital technology to address plastic pollution (e.g. behaviour change, reduction of the use of plastics, collection/sorting, recycling, tracking system
  • Any other innovation that could stop the leakage of plastic into the ocean
  • A prototype of any of the above, which you are ready to test.

How are Applicants Selected?

Impact & vision
  • How much impact will your innovation have on the plastic value chain and its circularity?
  • How much is environmental and/or social impact embedded into South African context and/or part of your long-term goals?
  • Potential for employment, job creation and improving working conditions in plastic wastes management?

Business model

  • Product-market fit and market potential
  • Innovation approach
  • Current traction and/or growth strategy
  • Scalability


  • IP owned
  • Business built on reliable technology(ies) including both software and hardware
  • Innovation
  • Adaptability and scalability


  • Team size
  • Team background
  • Relevance of distribution of responsibilities, priorities

What is Value of Award?

As the runner-up you will:

  • Be awarded R25 000 to further develop your innovation and business
  • Be featured on the partners’ websites and their social media channels
  • Have a chance to pitch in front of investors and other stakeholders during the leading African event on ocean-impact innovation Ocean Innovation Africa summit,
  • Automatically secure admission in OceanHub Africa’s 2023-2024 cohort, 1st Pan-African accelerator programme designed to support blue entrepreneurs
  • Access prototyping and testing facilities at the V&A Waterfront (if suitable).

How to Apply?



Visit Application Webpage for Details

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