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Calling All Environmental Champions: Federal Funding for a Global Plastic Pollution Initiative

By Justin Taylor // June 14, 2023

In a time when the plastic pollution crisis looms larger than ever, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs is leading an effort to coordinate plastic pollution reduction at a global scale. The Bureau has unveiled the End Plastic Pollution International Collaborative (EPPIC), a unique fusion of public and private sectors dedicated to addressing this issue at a worldwide scale, and is now actively seeking a host organization to spearhead this crucial initiative.

This initiative comes on the heels of recent international discussions on plastic pollution. Just last month, the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Jose W. Fernandez, led a U.S. delegation to Paris, France, for the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on plastic pollution. The discourse from these meetings echoed the alarming necessity for an international response to combat the widespread repercussions of plastic pollution on biodiversity, human health, and the natural environment.

An EPPIC Vision

EPPIC aims to change the current reality that only 10% of the world's plastic production is recycled, resulting in an annual estimated influx of 11 million metric tons of plastic waste into our oceans. The Collaborative's mission is to stimulate actionable solutions, spark innovation, and catalyze investments that bolster a circular economy, effectively bridging the gap between policy and action. The grand ambition is a significant decline in plastic pollution through improved plastic design, production, and recycling.

Who Can Apply?

The State Department is extending an open invitation to a wide range of organizations. Eligible applicants encompass U.S.-based non-profit and non-governmental organizations, irrespective of 501(c)(3) status, foreign non-profit organizations, NGOs, Public International Organizations, Foreign Public Organizations, as well as private, public, or state higher education institutions, and for-profit organizations. Consortia are also welcome, provided one entity serves as the lead applicant.

The State Department has earmarked $14,500,000 for this grant, pending Congressional approval and fund availability. The initial duration of the award is expected to span 36 months.

The Strategy: EPPIC’s Mechanism

The chosen host organization will spearhead technical collaboration and innovation at every level - global, regional, national, and local. The Collaborative plans to initiate a diverse array of activities, including establishing technical capacity-building programs, hosting thought-leadership meetings, promoting initiatives to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic waste, and identifying financial means to propel plastic circularity.

Expected Outcomes and Capabilities

EPPIC is designed to enable immediate action and provide a platform for nations, businesses, and communities to collectively address the plastic pollution crisis. Expected outcomes range from heightened public awareness and global efforts to advance plastic circularity, to the amplification of action and securing commitments from governments and stakeholders. EPPIC also anticipates supporting capacity-building programs in developing countries and establishing networks amongst various stakeholders to tackle plastic pollution.

Applicants should demonstrate their competence in managing administrative, financial, and logistical responsibilities, as well as their ability to work globally, engage with diverse stakeholders, and convene partners with expertise in the life cycle of plastics and advancing circularity. The capacity to undertake fundraising and manage multiple streams of funding will also be a key requirement.

This grant marks a unique opportunity for organizations committed to environmental sustainability to assume a leadership role in the international fight against plastic pollution. Applications close on July 8, 2023. For further details and application procedures, please refer to the official grants page.


In the last 24 hours, the federal government has posted 32 new competitive grant opportunities totaling $104 million for 66 future recipients. GrantExec tracks each grant and provides expert grant-writing services to help clients secure them. Learn more at


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