Island Plastic Challenge 2023

The Island Plastic Challenge aims to identify solutions to single-use plastic packaging challenges faced by Sri Lanka’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. ICI is seeking solutions for four challenge categories described below. Each challenge category consists of one or more challenges which you can apply for.

Browse Challenges

This Challenge Platform has four different Challenge Categories. These are the four areas into which the individual challenges identified by the FMCG companies are grouped. Therefore, under each Challenge Category, you will find one or more Challenges listed. Click the Apply Button next to each Challenge Category to read more and apply. 

Why Apply

  • This is your platform to promote your innovative plastic waste reduction solutions, yourself and your company or your organization.
  • Successful applicants will be invited to demonstrate their solutions at a showcase event to an audience that will include representatives from Sri Lanka’s FMCG sector seeking solutions and the Ministry of Environment.
  • USAID will provide selected solution providers the opportunity to publish a 5-minute video of themselves and their technology on their Urban Links website.
  • A chance to collaborate and work with ICI, government stakeholders and Sri Lanka’s premier FMCG companies to pilot your technology.
  • Become part of Sri Lanka’s plastic waste management efforts and become a part of growing Community of Startups and SMEs working to create a circular economy in Sri Lanka.

Who Can Apply

  • Anyone with a solution to address any one or more challenges listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the challenge

What is the Island Plastic Challenge (IPC)?

The Island Plastic Challenge (IPC) is an innovation challenge platform being run by Island Climate Initiative (Pvt) Ltd. It lists very specific challenges faced by some of Sri Lanka’s key fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in reducing their plastic packaging footprint. Solutions to these challenges have the potential to contribute towards the reduction of plastic waste generation in the country and ultimately towards a greener Sri Lanka.  

If you believe that you have a solution that suits one or more of the listed challenges, then send us your application through the IPC platform. If you are one of the shortlisted applicants, then you will be invited to showcase your solutions to all the stakeholders including the FMCG companies at the solution showcase event.

The IPC is being run with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Clean Cities Blue Oceans (CCBO) program, guidance from the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and in partnership with 10 of Sri Lanka’s premier FMCG companies. 

Who is running the IPC?

We at Island Climate Initiative (ICI) are running the IPC. Our company was founded in 2018 and we are based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The company was set up to support sustainable innovation and enterprise development by leveraging the emerging sustainability and climate positive investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Our primary focus areas include clean energy, circular economy, and smart agriculture.

Who is funding and supporting the IPC?

The IPC is funded and supported by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Clean Cities Blue Oceans (CCBO) Program. CCBO is USAID’s global, $48 million, flagship program to address ocean plastic pollution. It is active in 7 countries around the world where it supports the development of land-based strategies in these rapidly urbanizing communities.  

What is the timeline for the IPC?

You can find all the information about the timeline here.

Applicant eligibility criteria

Who is eligible to enter the IPC?

Pretty much anyone. Individuals, teams, start-ups, or even established companies that have a solution which could potentially solve one or more of the challenges listed on this website are eligible and more than welcome to apply. Or even if it doesn’t fit into any of the different challenges listed here, but you think that we still would want to know about it, get in touch.

Just remember, all individuals, team members, and/or employees must be 18 years of age or older to apply.

Can non-Sri Lankan persons/entities apply?

No, you do not need to be in Sri Lanka nor based in Sri Lanka to apply.  

Do I or my company have to be based in Sri Lanka to apply?

No, you do not need to be in Sri Lanka to apply.

Challenge application

How do I/my company apply for IPC?

To apply for one or more of the challenges simply click apply on the IPC website, select the challenges for which you/your company would like to apply, fill out the application by following the instructions and answering all the questions, and click submit. Make sure to read the Terms & Conditions for the IPC before you apply. 

Can I apply for multiple challenges under different challenge categories?

YES You can apply for any number of challenges for which you think you have a suitable solution. 

How long will it take to apply?

This is a difficult question to answer. The time taken to prepare and submit an application form may vary between you and another applicant. We recommend browsing through the application platform to view the questions prior to submitting your application so you can assess how long this may take to complete.

Can I/my company edit the application once submitted?

Unfortunately, once the application has been submitted, it cannot be edited.

How well developed should the solutions be?

Anyone with any level of solution can apply. But plastic waste is a pressing issue and government legislation to tackle it may be around the corner. Therefore, the seekers are looking to assess, pilot and deploy solutions quickly. So, if your solution has a with a minimum viable product and/or demonstrated scalability, then you have a better chance of being shortlisted/selected.

Can I/my company apply with an idea/concept?

Yes, absolutely. But, solutions which are further along in terms of development and commercialization will score higher and therefore, are more likely to be shortlisted and selected to pitch at the solution showcase event.

What happens if there is a technical issue when submitting application?

We recommend that you start your application as early as possible and submit it well in advance of the deadline. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for technical difficulties after the application deadline. If you have problems with the online form, please contact us at 

The shortlisting and selection

How are the applicants shortlisted for participation at the solution showcase event?

All applications received will be reviewed and screened by the ICI team using pre-determined shortlisting criteria. An expert panel made up of four independent experts from around the globe will review the shortlisting process to ensure that it is objective and that the applicants who are best suited to the listed challenges are shortlisted and invited to demonstrate their solutions at the solution showcase event. 

All reviewers and experts will be asked to declare any actual or potential conflicts of interest and will not participate in discussions or decisions where they are subject to such a conflict of interest.

What are the shortlisting criteria?

The criteria used to shortlist applicants can be viewed here.

How will I/my company be notified if we are selected?

If you are selected to proceed, then we will get in touch with you through the contact email you provided when you applied. 

Will I/my company representative be required to travel if selected?

If you are one of the shortlisted applicants invited to showcase your product at the solution showcase event, then you are encouraged to attend the event in person. However, we do understand if you are unable to do so, for whatever reason. In that case, you can make your demonstration virtually.

Intellectual Property Rights

Do I/my company retain the rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) contained in my/our application?

The applicant retains full ownership of IP to their solutions. For more information on this, make sure to read the Intellectual Property Rights section of the Terms & Conditions.

Will entries to the challenge be kept confidential?

All applications to the IPC will be kept confidential and only used for the purpose of shortlisting. However, in doing so ICI may in turn be required to share this information with our partners in this Challenge, subject to appropriate obligations of confidentiality as listed in our Terms & Conditions. While applicants are required to share substantial information, including potentially confidential information, for the purposes of applying to the Challenge, we encourage you to only provide us with information needed to show us that your solution meets or exceeds the requirements listed in the challenge. 

What happens after the solution showcase event?

Who selects the applicants for further engagement with the seekers?

The event will be attended by representatives from USAID, the Sri Lankan government, the FMCG companies, other private sector participants, investors etc. Although, the FMCG companies remain the main focus of our efforts, that does not mean they are the only ones who may select an applicant to engage with further. The Challenge Platform and the solution showcase event are therefore, opportunities for the applicants to directly demonstrate their technology to the wider private and state sectors of Sri Lanka and invite collaboration and partnership.  

What can applicants selected for further engagement expect?

This is a good question, and the possibilities of what might happen after the solution showcase event are as varied as they are exciting. Although we cannot promise this will be the case, we too do not want things to end at the solution showcase event. If that happens, all the work preceding it would have been for little. We too would love to see your technologies piloted and deployed at scale here in Sri Lanka to aid local and potentially regional, plastic waste management efforts. With provisional funding from USAID, ICI is in a position to support and facilitate next-phase engagements between you, the solution provider, and any other party interested in this area. This is the very reason we are inviting selected applicants to demonstrate their technologies at our event. It brings together those with solutions, i.e., you, and those looking to implement them, i.e., the companies, government, investors etc. and provides the perfect opportunity to kickstart something special.

These FAQs will be updated should additional questions arise.

If you have further questions about the Island Plastic Challenge which are not covered in the FAQs, please contact us by emailing

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