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Plastics challenge – Filtration of microplastics in ship greywater




Transport Canada is seeking a wastewater treatment system that can capture and extract microplastics in quantifiable amounts from ship’s greywater prior to discharge.

Eligible Applicants

Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:

  • for profit
  • incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
  • 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • research and development activities that take place in Canada
  • 50% or more of its annual wages, salaries and fees are currently paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in Canada
  • 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work
  • 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence

Eligible Expenses

The program will fund projects that proposed solution to wastewater treatment system that can capture and extract microplastics:

  1. Be a viable cost-effective solution for the shipping industry, meaning that installing or retrofitting the system on a ship is not cost prohibitive.
    • The cost to ship owners for installing or retrofitting the system onto the ship should not represent an impediment for adopting the technology.
    • Operational costs for maintaining the system once installed should also be taken into account. For example, the system should be easy to access and designed in such a way that the unloading of the captured microplastic waste does not increase the ship’s time spent in port.
  2. Be a technology that is lightweight, meaning that the weight of the system does not impede the ship’s performance. The weight of the technology is taken into account as added weight, which affects a ship’s fuel consumption.
  3. Be a technology that can be retrofitted onto new or existing greywater treatment systems of vessels;
  4. Have a containment system for collected microplastics;
  5. Propose a technology that is able to measure the amount of microplastics captured and extracted from a ship’s greywater;
  6. Be able to capture microplastics.

In addtion, the proposed solution should:

  1. Apply a process that allows for the reuse as a feedstock in other industrial processes providing a value-added product/market for microplastics;
  2. Be scalable for land based municipal wastewater treatment plants.

Deadline Date

  Closing date: June 10, 2020, 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time


Contact Name: Government of Canada

E-mail Address:


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