Plastics Data Challenge

End ocean plastic pollution with your innovative data-driven solution

The challenge invites institutions, startups, companies, and data scientists from around the globe to develop advanced solutions to be applied across plastic waste management and recycling value chains in South and Southeast Asia.

Application Deadline Extended to March 15th, 2020


Each year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste enters our oceans, equivalent to five full trash bags along every inch of coastline worldwide. An estimated 60% of ocean plastics is a result of mismanaged waste from five Asian nations. For this reason, many leaders recognize that optimizing land-based plastic waste management across this region is an impactful first step to ending the crisis. However, as the layers are peeled back, an important ingredient is missing: data.

Data on plastic production and waste management across South and Southeast Asia is missing, inconsistent, or unreliable because the region’s complex plastics value chains are fragmented and reliant on the informal economy. The result is limited visibility and transparency as well as an inability to effectively track, monitor, forecast, or optimize material flows and reduce ocean leakage. Technologies, models and data science being applied in other complex systems can be adopted into plastic waste management and revolutionize Asia’s circular economy. 

 Challenge Areas

  Improved Visibility of Plastic Waste Generation and Material Flows

Improve the understanding, awareness, and forecasting of plastic waste generation and material flows across South and Southeast Asia.

Optimization of Circular Supply Chains for Plastics


Improve the visibility, efficiency, and value creation across circular supply chains for plastics in South and Southeast Asia.

Identification & Prevention of Plastic Waste Leakage


Identify and prevent the leakage of plastic waste into waterways across South and Southeast Asia.


From agriculture, energy, and insurance to public health and even human trafficking, data technologies are the foundation to develop models that help manage complex systems and drive transformational change. By leveraging such solutions to fill the data gap, The Plastics Data Challenge will catalyze the growth of a new sector of technology that will play a crucial role in reducing mismanaged plastic waste while adding more transparency, predictability, and profit to the circular economy. 

Our goal is to source, support, and scale innovative solutions and working prototypes that leverage data to understand and address the leakage of plastic waste into the environment and to facilitate their entry into markets across South and Southeast Asia. 


Top 3

 Cash Prizes:
Up to $30,000 USD for the top 3 finalists
Pro-bono technical assistance, technologies & services from network partners ($2000+ Value)
In addition to the cash prizes, the top 3 finalists will receive additional resources and technical support from The Incubation Network to design & implement a pilot in Asia

Top 10

Trip to Singapore to attend a one-week Innovation Summit – accommodation & travel provided
Mentor support and pilot-readiness program
Media content & communications support ($2000+ Value)
Access to the investor and philanthropic capital network.








This challenge has an amazing Advisory Council of leading experts, corporations, and organizations. Click below for more information!

About The Incubation Network

The Incubation Network by The Circulate Initiative and SecondMuse is building a thriving circular economy by developing, promoting and incubating innovative technologies, business models and entrepreneurs that prevent ocean plastic pollution in South and Southeast Asia. The initiative will create a connected network of innovators, investors, civil society organisations, and government leaders across South and Southeast Asia. Collectively, they will design and deliver programs that drive investment, innovation, and partnerships for inclusive and gender-responsive waste management and circular economy solutions.


More Information