About the Circularity


The Circularity Challenge (CC) is implemented by the World Environment Center (WEC) and its partner the Water & Environment Centre/Cleaner Production Unit at the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan (RSS), and other local organizations in Colombia and El Salvador. The overall challenge is funded by The U.S. Department of State (Department of State), Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), Office of Environmental Quality (ENV).

The project goal is to develop and managing a small grants program to promote active public participation in environmental issues focused on plastics, which can in turn lead to innovative solutions, stronger monitoring of environmental impacts, and better enforcement of environmental laws. Overall goals include to:

  1. Support civil society engagement in environmental protection through capacity building to address plastic pollution by advancing awareness, research, and projects that reduce, reuse, and/or recycle plastic, through formal and informal sectors; and
  2. Increase civil society engagement in reducing plastic pollution and improving management of plastic waste across the lifecycle of plastics.

To achieve the objectives of the Circularity Challenge, WEC will work in 3 countries (Jordan, Colombia, and El Salvador) and select 9 small grantees. Six small grantees from organizations based in the selected countries such as, civil society organizations (CSOs), small business development centers (SBDCs), cleaner production centers, and/or private sector MSMEs will receive $30,000 per grant, and 3 additional small grantees from educational institutions will receive $10,000 (Universities), for a total of 9 small grants (Small Grantees), to support innovative solutions to address plastic pollution.

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9 Competitions to select 6 Small Grantees to promote innovative solutions in reducing plastic pollution and improving management of plastic waste across the lifecycle of plastics. And to select 3 Universities to reinforce implementation of Small Grantees providing technical expertise and advice.


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6 grants of $30,000 for Small Grantees 3 Grants of $10,000 for universities. WEC and its local partners will also include a training curriculum and capacity building plan for the 9 organizations awarded by the CC, in the thematic areas prioritized by the challenge and that contribute to the execution and success of their projects.


Challenge Activity
Colombia, El Salvador
Circularity Challenge Launch
April 05

April 24

Informative Session 1: Webinar
(Overview of Challenge & Eligibility Criteria review)

Apr 17

10 AM San Salvador (El Salvador)
11 AM Bogota (Colombia)
12 PM New York City (USA)

April 29

Informative Session 2: Webinar

(Proposal Instructions & FAQ)

April 26

9:30 AM San Salvador (El Salvador)
10:30 AM Bogota (Colombia)
11:30 AM New York City (USA)

April 29

Deadline to submit full applications

May 31

May 31

Announcement of Winners
Mid June
Mid June

Signature of Small Grants Agreements

June 20

June 20

Goals & Eligibility

The CC will hold three Challenges, to select six Small Grantees from organizations based in the selected countries such as, civil society organizations (CSOs), small business development centers (SBDCs), cleaner production centers, and/or private sector MSMEs will receive $30,000 per grant, and 3 additional Small Grantees from educational institutions will receive $10,000 (Universities), for a total of 9 small grants (Small Grantees), to support innovative solutions to address plastic pollution.
Circularity Challenge outcomes are:
  • Stakeholders engaged with environmental protection and empowered awareness about plastic pollution and its management.
  • Innovative projects selected (Small Grants Program – SGP) providing innovative & sustainable solutions on plastic pollution.
  • Strengthen Small Grantees contributing to prevention of plastic pollution and improving public awareness.
  • Small Grantees will create a sustainability plan for each project.
Who Can Apply:
  • Private organizations.
  • Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
  • Private non-profit universities and higher education institutions.
Project / Proposal Requirements:
  • Target Beneficiaries: Must benefit civil society organizations to implement projects that aim to increase awareness, support community involvement, provide technical collaboration/actions/ innovation to address plastic pollution.
  • Project Execution: 15 months.
  • Geographical Scope: Jordan, Colombia and El Salvador.
  • Innovation: Is defined as detecting a problem or opportunity, developing, and implementing a solution to solve it, and being able to generate revenue from that solution (or generate cost savings). This may be a new business model, policy practice, technology or new ways of delivering products and services related to solve the plastic waste pollution.
  • Impact: approaches which can be widely used or applied and replicable in many developing countries and do not consider innovations which are only viable solutions in one local specific context.

How to Participate

  1. Attend the Information Sessions being held April 17 & April 26 (sign up form below)
  2. Scroll to Resources to Download and review carefully the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  3. Submit a registration form by clicking on “APPLY HERE” below.
  4. Download & complete the mandatory files in English by clicking “Instructions & Files to Submit” 
  5. Once you have completed all the mandatory documents, send them via email to listed contacts in the FAQ.
  6. Once the application process is completed, you will receive a confirmation email. 


If you have any questions, please send an email to info@wec.org with subject line: “Question about Circularity Challenge.”