The 2021 Solution Search contest focuses on unearthing existing and successful solutions that are reducing water pollution and changing behaviors. The contest received 100 submissions of solutions from 33 countries, which was narrowed to 10 finalists. Voting is open from May 3 to June 11. As a media partner on the Solution Search, waterloop is presenting conversations with the finalists.
The major objective of this program was to address the ground and lake water pollution and women’s health issues caused by single-use synthetic sanitary napkins. To achieve this, sustainable alternatives like reusable cloth pads and menstrual cups were promoted through conscientization and sensitization campaigns among the community.
There are 8,791 mine tailing sites identified in highland Peru that contaminate freshwater sources with acid rock drainage and metals. The technical solution designed by local researchers was a low-cost artificial sedimentation and artificial wetlands that quickly improves pH reducing the level of metals in water.
Wetlands Work! in Cambodia focuses on sanitation in challenging environments where pit latrines and septic tanks are inappropriate usually due to high water, such as floating villages, floodplains, mangroves, sandy beaches, impermeable clay soils and remote ecotourist sites. A unique simple technology, the HandyPod, and a behavior change program are part of a sustainable market-driven scale-up by local people.
Net Your Problem, LLC (NYP) engages coastal communities, recyclers, manufacturers and brands to contribute to the blue and circular economies by recycling end of life fishing gear. Started in 2017 in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, NYP has facilitated diverting 880,000 lbs of retired fishing gear from landfills and the environment. This material instead is cycled back into the plastic supply chain to be remade into new products.
ECOAct reduces the amount of waste plastic entering into the oceans by recycling waste plastics and transforming them into durable plastic timbers used for building construction as well as furniture-making. ECOAct collects these waste plastic through a social program where poor slum residents are able to access health care in exchange for waste plastics.
Under the influence of modernization, the aboriginal communities of Lisu people in Liguang Village have undergone changes in their production and lifestyles, resulting in river pollution. The project tapped into the pride of the villagers in their community and promoted the autonomous governance of the community based on its own culture, which led to changes in village rules and regulations and stopped the villagers’ dumping of garbage into the river.
The Safer Seas Service (SSS) is an innovative mobile app providing real time water quality information direct to the palm of your hand. It allows surfers, swimmers and all water users to find beaches with the best water quality, to avoid pollution and the associated health risks. The app provides vital public health information, and allows users to take action to campaign for cleaner seas.
SwitchON Foundation promotes conservation of water quality in smallholding farms through 100% elimination of synthetic chemical inputs (fertilizers and pesticides). This not only minimizes and reduces the contamination of groundwater, but also reduces the chances of marine pollution and the impacts of ocean acidification.
SOIL’s innovative program simultaneously addresses the interconnected crises of poor sanitation and environmental degradation by using a circular economy solution that encompasses the full sanitation cycle from household toilet provision, to waste collection, to nutrient recycling and transformation into organic compost for agriculture development and reforestation initiatives.
Out of financial necessity, 70% of Indonesians buy their household goods in single-serving sachets rather than in bulk. Low-income populations often pay extra for their everyday needs in small portions, a so-called "poverty tax.” Siklus set up refill stations in neighborhood stores, where customers can bring their own containers to refill everyday needs. Siklus also set up mobile refill stations that come to customers' doorsteps.