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Plastic Pollution


Plastic Capture Competition
Finding a solution for reduce ocean plastic pollution


Gericke's Point


Invitation to aspiring ocean heroes to innovate a solution to land-sourced ocean plastic pollution.

The Strandloper Project, an initiative that researches and highlights the damage that ghost fishing causes to the environment, is challenging future ocean heroes to be part of the movement to reduce land-sourced ocean plastic. We are running a competition with the aim of finding the perfect design for a self-flushing interceptor of plastic debris suitable for placement at the outlets of storm water drains. The competition is open to all, but we encourage tertiary-level students with an interest in engineering and design to compete for the cash prize of R25 000.


Plastic Pollution Cleanup


Of the 200 million tons of plastic waste produced worldwide every year, 11 million tons end up in our oceans (WWF, 2021). Most of this ocean plastic has its origins on land and is washed by rivers into the sea where it lasts indefinitely, negatively impacting marine life through ingestion, entanglement and poisoning. The interconnectedness of our oceans means that all ocean plastic, no matter the origin, is everybody’s problem.


Design Innovation

Project Keep Plastic Out of the Ocean is a design competition organized by The Strandloper Project with the intention of intercepting this avalanche of plastic before it reaches our seas. Entrants will be required to design a self-flushing interceptor of plastic debris suitable for placement at the outlet of storm water drains. Those who are selected to move through to the second round will then engineer a scaled proof-of-concept prototype of their design.


Watch an example of the problem of plastic pollution that we are trying to resolve : Watch Video

Existing solutions for storm water systems (similar to those designed by StormX) play an important part in capturing gross pollutants in coastal areas in parts of South Africa but the collection bags must be emptied regularly, especially in high-flow conditions. Flooding increases the risk of system failure as well as the danger of injury to the operator. The winning design will be one that intercepts plastic debris at the outlet of storm water drains and diverts it away from the flow of the water, making it safe and simple to empty, even in flood conditions. This will also reduce the risk of plastic escaping the system and ending up in the ocean.


Competition guidelines and Specifications


Competition information
Round one: Each entrant must submit a design document describing their proposed innovation. The five best designs will move through to the finals.
Round two: Shortlisted entrants will continue to the next round during which they will be required to engineer a scaled proof-of-concept of their design. This will be submitted by means of a short video presentation which will include a demonstration of the design under test conditions.
Important dates:

  1. 28 April 2022: Entries close for round one.
  2. 7 May 2022: Finalists announced.
  3. 30 May 2022: All entries for round two submitted.
  4. 4 June 2022: Winner announced.

Competition guidelines and specifications:

Designs will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Suitability: An understanding of the issues faced by current plastic capture solutions evidenced by the design’s ability to address these.
  2. Performance: The design should be able to collect plastic debris and divert it away from the flow of water for collection.
  3. Efficiency: A system that can intercept a range of sizes large volumes of plastic debris in a range of flow conditions is essential.
  4. Durability: The design must be robust enough to withstand high-flow conditions without damming or breaking. It would be advantageous to have a design that disengages when under pressure in order to prevent damage to or loss of the system.
  5. Adaptability: The design must be easily adapted to fit different stormwater outlet pipe sizes and profiles.
  • Safety: The design should make it safe for the operator to empty the collected plastic under a range of flow conditions.

To enter please complete the following form and upload your engineering design document PDF using the form link (Max 10 MB):


Entry Form


Terms and Conditions :

The ownership of the winning design will rest with the designer, but it is understood that on awarding the prize money The Strandloper Project is obtaining unlimited rights to use the design for not-for-profit purposes.
The Strandloper Project reserves the right not to award if none of the entries are deemed suitable for purpose.
If you have any questions please contact



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