National Geographic issues RFP for projects dedicated to reducing ocean plastic pollution

National Geographic issues RFP for projects dedicated to reducing ocean plastic pollution

June 12, 2019
Press Release: National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society has issued an RFP for projects aimed at reducing ocean plastic pollution

More than nine million tons of plastic waste end up in the planet’s oceans each year, with alarming implications for the health of people, wildlife, and ecosystems. Around 80% of this plastic is believed to be derived from land-based sources, and much of it enters the ocean via major rivers in Asia and Africa. Through this RFP, National Geographic aims to support projects dedicated to reducing plastic pollution at the source, both by reducing per capita plastic consumption and by reducing the flow of plastics into watersheds.

To that end, grants of up to US$60,000 over one to two years will be awarded to sustainable and potentially scalable projects aligned with one or both of the following goals:

1.) Informing and advancing national or subnational policies or management plans to reduce plastic source pollution, including research that informs government strategies (e.g., generating knowledge that would enable reducing the flow of plastic into waterways); informing the development of national/subnational product or materials bans; and other relevant work. Research applications in this area are strongly encouraged to include a government official on the project team, have an endorsement letter from a relevant government office, and/or have a project component in which government stakeholders will be robustly engaged to advance the integration of data into decision-making.

2.) Innovative behavior change approaches with the potential to inspire large numbers of people to dramatically reduce their consumption of single-use plastics and/or improve the recycling of plastic.

Eligible applicants include conservationists, educators, researchers, storytellers, and technologists. Geographic priorities include known hot spots that contribute most to the ocean plastic pollution problem (e.g., coastal cities in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; and the watersheds of the Yangtze, Indus, Yellow, Hai, Nile, Ganges, Pearl, Amur, Niger, and Mekong rivers), or which fill key gaps in geography (e.g., major river basins and coastal cities in Africa). Preference will be given to applicants who are citizens or residents of the country where the work will be conducted.

This RFP does not support beach cleanups; end-of-life plastic recycling, valorization, or reuse; the commercialization of waste management technologies; or the development of plastic alternatives.

The National Geographic Society website features complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This