Most of Indonesia’s recycled plastic is collected by the informal sector (waste pickers, junk shops, aggregators).

They are collecting 1 million tonnes of plastic per year which they source directly from residential areas - from collected waste in transit to landfill, and from landfills themselves. Yet, their critical role is still unrecognized. The informal waste workers are underpaid, and the lack of transparency within the supply chain makes it difficult to ensure ethical practices. By integrating the informal sector into formal systems, we can eliminate unfair and unsafe working conditions, improve livelihoods for informal workers, and contribute to the NPAP Multistakeholder Action Plan goal of doubling Indonesia’s waste collection and recycling capacity.

The Indonesia National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) is collaborating with UpLink and the Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator (OPPA), a social innovation ecosystem builder powered by The Incubation Network (TIN) that's funded by The Circulate Initiative (TCI) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Together, they are calling for innovative approaches that address the following categories: 

  1. Better Supply Chain

    • Supply chain ethics, traceability, segmentation

    • This solution area aims to answer:

      •  How might we create higher demand for fully traceable plastic feedstock from ethical sources?

      • How might we increase the amount of funding committed to waste management solutions?

      • How might we improve the market segmentation by type of waste?

      • How might we increase the amount of long-term plastic off-take agreements between large buyers of plastic feedstock and waste collection entities?

  2. Better Knowledge

    • Access to knowledge and digital skills for informal waste workers

    • This solution area aims to answer:

      • How might we improve the digital literacy of informal waste workers?

      • How might we increase the available data about informal waste collection activities?

      • How might we increase the level of knowledge about waste-related innovation opportunities among entrepreneurs?

  3. Better Visibility

    • Elevating the visibility of the informal sector

    • This solution area aims to answer:

      • How might we increase the recognition of waste workers and their importance in society

      • How might we improve the access to social services of informal waste workers?

      • How might we create events, conferences and gatherings promoting collaboration in waste management value chains?



Benefits for Selected Applicants:

  • Partnership building and mentorship from major Indonesian waste management stakeholders

  • Training and workshops customized to solution acceleration needs

  • Introductions to capital providers to scale solutions

  • Opportunity to win US$ 5,000 grants




Challenge Timeline

  • Launch applications: March 23rd 2021

  • Applications close: May 2nd 2021

  • Cohort announcement: June 14th June

  • Summit/Forum: May 17 – June 21 2021

  • Mentorship Program Begins: July 5th – September 27th 2021

  • Closing event: September 2021

Click APPLY find out further information about the criteria and to apply for this challenge: 




*Feel free to download these posters and spread this opportunity to your network.

Innovation Challenge - Design Poster 3a.
Innovation Challenge - Design Poster 1a.