This June 8, World Ocean’s Day, seasoned hackers, tech enthusiasts, and young innovators will hack solutions to the country’s pressing marine plastic litter problem at the Plastic 3R Hacks PH Grand Finals.
Plastic 3R Hacks PH is a nationwide virtual hackathon that aims to harness solutions to marine plastic pollution in the Philippines. More than 150 participants representing cities and universities across the country registered for the competition. The participants went through a series of virtual activities such as a pre-hack event, mentoring sessions, and project development. Eighteen qualifying teams went through a preliminary judging which selected the top ten teams who will advance to the virtual Grand Finals.
These ten youth teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, will showcase their innovative solutions to reuse, reduce, and recycle plastics and plastic waste. From technology solutions such as open sources recycling system, AI-based rewards-system waste segregation app for individuals and households, and mobile application monitoring and grading tool for local government units, to disruptive non-tech ideas like business concepts for creative upcycling process, the virtual event will highlight some of the brightest ideas to save our oceans by reducing marine plastic litter.
The teams will present their solutions to a panel of local and international judges from the national government, NGOs, and the private sector.
“Major adjustments had to be done to run a hackathon in the new normal, and our teams pulled through. The youth’s creativity and passion to come up with innovative ideas – especially to issues as serious as marine plastic litter- should not stop because of the pandemic,” said Elaine Cedillo, Hackathon Master and Founder of Red Wizard Event Technology.
Based on a 2010 baseline study*, even though the Philippines has among the highest trash collection rates in Southeast Asia, it has become the world’s third largest source of marine litter.
Christopher Rollo, Country Programme Manager of UN-Habitat Philippines said, “our country is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, and more than 70% of our cities are along the rivers and coasts – our way of life is very much tied to our rivers, coasts, and seas. We cannot have a better quality of life if we do not ensure the protection and better quality of the waters around us. We are glad that we have bright young minds who join us in keeping our oceans healthy, and our cities clean.”
Plastic 3R Hacks PH Grand Winner will receive P50,000 cash prize, Runner Up will receive P20,0000. Aside from the cash prizes, all teams have opportunities for possible funding and development of their solutions for real life application.
Plastic 3R Hacks PH is organized by Redwizard Events Technology in close collaboration with the Healthy Oceans and Clean Cities Initiative, a project funded by the Government of Japan and being implemented by UN-Habitat Philippines, which aims to enable local governments and communities in the Philippines to reduce marine plastic pollution. Plastic 3R Hacks PH is sponsored by Aboitiz Construction, Unionbank Philippines, and Nestle Philippines.