TONTOTON: Pioneering the Fight Against Plastic Pollution and Winning the EPPIC Prize

TONTOTON, a social initiative that collect and process mismanaged non-recyclable plastic waste in coastal villages in Cambodia, has recently been awarded first place in the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC). This prestigious honor, granted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and backed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad, underscores TONTOTON’s unwavering commitment to addressing the scourge of plastic pollution. Their comprehensive approach transcends mere waste management, integrating community upliftment and environmental stewardship into a seamless model for change.


EPPIC stands as a beacon of innovation in the ASEAN region, encouraging bright minds to bring forth solutions to the pressing issue of plastic pollution. Garnering this prize is a significant achievement, indicating a project’s substantial potential to create real-world impact. For TONTOTON, winning this challenge not only validates their efforts but also enhances their visibility and credibility among key stakeholders, including sustainability and marketing managers who are pivotal in steering the corporate world towards greener practices.


TONTOTON’s innovation solution to Plastic pollution

TONTOTON’s solution, which captured the EPPIC jury’s attention, is a testament to their holistic approach to plastic waste management. From establishing a wide-reaching community collection network to the intricate processing of all plastic types, TONTOTON’s operations are a model of efficiency and sustainability. Their Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Sihanoukville is a cornerstone of their operation, where they not only sort and process materials but also engage in community education through awareness tours—highlighting the crucial link between knowledge and action in the fight against plastic pollution.

The infusion of prize money from the EPPIC win is set to catalyze TONTOTON’s operational capabilities. With these funds, the company is poised to upscale its recycling and processing capacity, specifically targeting materials like plastic bags and food packaging, which are often neglected due to their complex recycling requirements. This expansion is a leap forward in TONTOTON’s mission, promising to make a significant dent in the volume of plastic waste that plagues our environment.

Tontoton innovation solution

TONTOTON’s Comprehensive Approach to Plastic Pollution

The ethos of TONTOTON, encapsulated in their guiding principle of “Leaving nothing and no one behind,” is evident in their commitment to not just environmental conservation but also community welfare. The initiative’s reported collection of over 3,000 tons of plastic diverted from the environment and the integration of over 400 households into their plastic segregation system underscore their inclusive and impactful approach. By providing additional income to households and involving informal waste pickers in their programs, TONTOTON is fostering a community-centric model of environmental action.

Their dual approach, which transforms hard-to-recycle plastics into construction materials and converts non-recyclables into energy, illustrates their innovative strategies in making the most of waste materials. These efforts not only aid in reducing pollution but also contribute to the socio-economic development of communities, creating infrastructure and energy solutions from what was once waste.

Tontoton garbage bag next to the track

The Role of Plastic Credits in TONTOTON’s Strategy

A key element in TONTOTON’s financial sustainability is the Plastic Credits system, a mechanism that enables the private sector to contribute to the funding required for the collection and treatment of low-value plastic. This model, certified by the Ocean Bound Plastic Certification, allows TONTOTON to maintain and expand their vital operations, ensuring the continuation of their impactful work. It represents a novel approach to environmental financing, enabling the mobilization of resources necessary for comprehensive waste management.

Role of plastic credits

Continued Recognition for TONTOTON’s Impact

TONTOTON’s recent accolades extend beyond the EPPIC prize, as they have been recognized as a TOP innovator by Uplink World Economic Forum and were recently selected as a UNESCO Green Citizen project. These honors acknowledge TONTOTON’s innovation and the high impact of their initiatives on communities and the environment, further solidifying their standing as a leader in the global movement for sustainability.

The Movement Against Plastic Pollution

TONTOTON’s string of prestigious recognitions serves as a powerful reminder of the effectiveness and importance of innovative environmental solutions. Their work is a clarion call to all corporates and brands: the time to act is now. Embracing innovative solutions like those offered by TONTOTON can significantly amplify your organization’s environmental initiatives. Collaboration and support for such pioneering efforts are essential as we collectively forge a path to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Tontoton against plastic pollution

As TONTOTON continues to garner global recognition and expand their reach, they exemplify the kind of dedication and ingenuity required to make substantial progress in the battle against plastic pollution. Their work is not just a service; it’s a movement—one that has rightfully earned them top honors and one that invites your participation.