Plastic Coastal Pollution Challenge

Geovation is launching a challenge in search for a sustainable solution to the problem of Plastic Coastal Pollution.

We’re currently seeking partners and sponsors for this challenge. During the challenge, we will do a 360 deep dive research into the problem space. Following this we will issue a call for solutions from both innovators and start-ups alike that can be developed, launched, and scaled sustainably.

12 million
tonnes of plastic are poured into the ocean every year (Eunomia, 2016)
litter items found per 100m of beach surveyed at last year's Great British Beach Clean
marine mammals killed by marine plastic pollution annually (UK Government, 2018)
litter in the Thames is plastic bottles (OneLess Campaign)

Plastic Coastal Pollution

Macro plastic pollution causes harm to both wildlife and humans. Two-thirds of macro-plastic pollutants, such as water bottles and plastic, come straight from land-based sources through a variety of means.

Plastics account for 60 – 80% of marine litter, and are ubiquitous across the entire ocean, even in remote areas. A single litre plastic bottle can break down into enough small fragments to put one tiny piece of plastic on every mile of beach in the world.

Using the Best Data

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a world-leading centre for hydrography, specialising in marine geospatial data that helps others to unlock a deeper understanding of the world’s oceans. UKHO share this data with governments, defence users and academia, as well as make it available through their portfolio of ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions.

Ordnance Survey‘s full range of APIs are available for use in the challenge under a trial arrangement along with a set of premium datasets which can be made available.

The Met Office have also provided access and support for range of Climate and meteorological data from a range of publicly accessible data catalogues.

The British Geological Survey have provided access to three sample datasets GeoSure, GeoCivil’s and a Groundwater Vulnerability dataset.

How The Challenge Works

Our philosophy is to study, dissect and understand the problem, bring the brightest minds together and then leverage our expertise in business, data and start ups in general. Our approach is grounded in research and collaboration, which is is key to producing the best, and long lasting solutions,


Problem x Solution x Execution

Deep Dive

Primary and
secondary research
with 360 stakeholders
to understand the
problem fully.

Call Out to Startups

Leverage our
extensive network to
get the best minds
working together.

Selection and Bootcamp

Working with selected
start-ups to refine and
challenge proposed

Pitch and Final Selection

Get in touch

If you are interested in being a sponsor, participant or would like more information please register your interest.

Register your interest
Geovation Challenges
in numbers
Collaborative purpose driven challenges run by Geovation
Ideas have been submitted during these challenges
have been awarded in funding

Previous Challenge Winners

Planet Patrol

Challenge: How can we make greener, smarter communities in Britain?

Solution: Combine litter picking and community action as well as data collection; They are at the intersection between environment and wellbeing.

Some of their many achievements include:

– They created an app

– Collected 365,353 pieces of litter recorded on an app,

– Added up to 440 tonnes of litter.


Challenge: How can we better manage water use in Britain, sustainably?

Solution: Create a network which provides members with unlimited access to cold, filtered tap water on the go. Using the Refill app, members find the nearest station, conveniently located around town in local businesses like coffee shops and bakeries, activate it with their phone, and fill their reusable bottle in seconds.

Their achievements to date include:

– Created 274,000 Refill stations globally

– 300,000 refill app downloads

– 100,000,000 plastic bottle saved

– 426 refill schemes throughout the world


Challenge: Diffuse Coastal Pollution Challenge

Solution: Their solution is based on using satellite data and a geo-temporal platform based on datacube architecture to identify environmental degradation and pollution in coastal areas connected to diffusive pollution factors. They will develop a machine learning algorithm, to identify the presence of anomalous activities, issuing subsequent alerts.
They will use the prize money to further refine their existing client facing dashboard and promote the activity using an interactive webinar and blog.

Satsense Solutions

Challenge: Diffuse Coastal Pollution Challenge

Solution: The proposed solution makes use of two key concepts, namely, Satellite-based Water Quality Assessment and a Watershed Approach; to identify problematic watersheds that contribute excessive amounts of sediment, nutrient and pollutant loads and suggests best land management practices to mitigate these discharges. Thereby helping to solve some of the major problems of diffuse coastal pollution in a targeted and cost-effective way.

Get in touch

If you are interested in being a sponsor, participant or would like more information please register your interest.

Register your interest