Cape Town startup win Plastics Pact Reuse Innovation Challenge

Cape Town-based water-tech startup I-Drop’s Waterpod has won first place in the SA Plastics Pact Reuse Innovation Challenge 2021 for its innovative mobile purified water dispenser.

I-Drop won first place in SA Plastics Pact Reuse Innovation Challenge 2021

Kate Thiers, CEO of Waterpod by I-Drop comments on receiving the prestigious green award. 

“The I-Drop Waterpod team are absolutely thrilled to win the inaugural SA Plastics Pact Reuse Innovation Challenge. This is particularly special given the amazing solutions presented by all the competitors, all of whom are a proud showcase of South African innovation in sustainability and new approaches to a more circular plastics economy.” 

The challenge focuses on recognising reusable packaging solutions that can effectively be implemented in local retailers and that the innovative solution is a driver for sustainability and reduces plastic usage.

With a total of three winners overall, the judging panel for the challenge was comprised of brand owners and retailers such as Tiger Brands, Woolworths, Spur, Spar, and more. 

The three winners in order; in 1st place Waterpod by I-Drop, in 2nd place Sonke Retail, and in 3rd place, Green Tap, have won their share of R 500 000. 


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The Waterpod

The Waterpod encourages users to refill their bottles instead of purchasing more plastic bottled water. This innovative service allows consumers who enjoy bottled water to eliminate their plastic waste by reusing bottles and filling them with purified water, similar to that of plastic bottled water.

In addition, the water-tech startup has created affordable purified water, enabling a wider range of consumers to access purified water.

The science behind the purification is that the water undergoes a two-stage Nanomesh technology process that reportedly removes viruses, bacteria, cysts, and other contaminants. The final stage of purification of the water is UV sterilization. 

With local shops opting to offer this sustainable and cost-friendly product, business owners are able to access the startup’s Real-time online marketing tools that provide insight into shopper usage insight, filter life, and more. No drainage or plumbing is required for the device enabling shop owners to easily implement the service in their stores.

“It is up to us in business to create convenient and affordable choices for consumers to go single-use plastics free,” added Thiers.


Founded in 2015, I-Drop is a for-profit social impact startup that aims to make a concerted difference in plastic usage with its Waterpod innovation.

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Featured image: I-Drop, Facebook  



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