The STOMP (Stamp Out Marine Plastic Pollution) Awards made a call out in October for South Africans to enter ideas and solutions that could reduce, or eliminate plastic pollution, which ultimately ends up in the ocean destroying habitats, and endangering marine species. 

Over 60 entries in five categories were submitted: Technology or Technical Design in which judges were looking for new and innovative design and or technologies to reduce or manage plastic pollution and encourage circular economy thinking; Product Development which were innovative allowing consumers to reduce their plastic waste; Adult Inspire through Creativity and Youth Inspire for any kind of creative art made to inspire people into creating a better place and a Special Recognition Award for Action that recognizes work done to implement cleanups, or projects the mitigate waste, reduce plastic, change behaviours or create awareness on a community level. 

The finalists are listed in no particular order:

Technology or Technical Design

Wildtrust – Pyrolysis Machine from Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal 

The Mermaid Tear Catcher submitted by Clare Swithenbank-Bowman from the KwaZulu-Natal, North Coast.

Games Tangibl submitted by Jean Greyling from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Product Development

The Big Scoop SA submitted by Alexis Wellman from the Helderberg, Western Cape

Beeswax Wrap submitted by Mica Da Silva from Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal 

Patch Bamboo Plasters submitted by Dr Milliea Anis  from Johannesburg, Gauteng 

The Mutea EcoPod submitted by Liam Bulgen from Cape Town , Western Cape

Adult Inspire through Creativity

12 Plastic Monsters  submitted by Luke Rudman from the Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape 

The Well Worn Theatre Company submitted by Kyla Davis from Johannesburg, Gauteng 

The SuperScientists Project by CodeMakers NPO, submitted by Justin Yarrow from Durban, KwaZulu Natal. 

Youth Inspire through Creativity

The Future Kids submitted by Rocco Da Silva from the Somerset West, Western Cape 

Norman Klutsky Eco-Warrior of the High Seas - Eden College submitted by Jean Van Elden, Durban KwaZulu-Natal 

The Oceano Reddentes NPC submitted by Jade Bothma from Western Cape 

Special Recognition Award for Action

Captain Fanplastic submitted by Nwabisa Joba from the Cape Town, Western Cape 

The Ethekwini Conservancies Forum submitted by Paolo Candoti from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 

Singakwenza submitted by Julie Hay from Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal 

Some of the finalists (as well as some of the entries that did not make it into the finals but impressed the judges) will be in attendance to present their entries at the "CLIP Innovation Conference: STEM the tide of plastic waste in Africa" in Cape Town on 4 and 5 December 2019. Winners in each category will be announced at Conference on December 5.

The Conference, which will be attended by scientists, environmentalists, conservationists, and policy-makers, is co-hosted with the Sustainable Seas Trust, will be looking at STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) solutions to the marine litter problem in South Africa.

"We were pleased with the number and quality of entries submitted for these inaugural awards," says STOMP Project Manager Duncan Pritchard, of Green Corridors, the NPO tasked with managing the awards in South Africa. "The entries were fairly diverse with some truly innovative ideas being showcased. It certainly demonstrates that South African's are thinking about the plastic challenges we face, and are looking at what could be the next world-changing innovation to solve the crisis. That is extremely positive for us going forward."

Commenting on the judging process, Fiona Preston-Whyte, CLiP Country Lead from the UK's Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) which leads the CLIP programme says, "As scientists we were looking for innovative, sustainable solutions which contribute to reducing or preferably eliminating plastic as a waste. The entries are high quality and creative and speak of the innovative spirit of South Africans.”