Funding future packaging solutions

24 September 2020

Competition aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products.

This week, 21st – 27th September, is Recycle Week, organised by Waste Resources Action Program (WRAP). The theme for the 17th Recycle Week is ‘Together – We Recycle,’ the focus being to ‘thank the nation for continuing to recycle despite the challenges covid-19 has presented.’ The week is supported by many well known brands including Sainsbury’s, Highland Spring, Unilever UK and Co-op.
Addressing the theme of plastic waste, UKRI has marked Recycle Week  announcing seven organisations that have received a share of £235 000 in funding  for projects that tackle plastic pollution and  improve the UK’s recycling capabilities.

The funding was awarded as part of the Feasibility Studies for Demonstrators Competition, part of the ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, run on behalf of the UK Government. The winning projects include a novel separation system for waste plastic films, from Impact Laboratories Limited and a foamed biopolymer formulation for replacing expanded polystyrene and PVC in pots, tubs and tray applications from Wells Plastics Limited.

At the same time the UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) is set to open a ‘Future Plastics Packaging Solutions Competition’ during October. Innovate UK will be investing up to £2 million in early stage projects as part of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge. The Challenge aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products. The goals include ‘Delivering cleaner growth across the supply chain, with dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025.’

The funded projects must aim to achieve a number of specified objectives which include; making the plastic packaging supply chain more circular and embedding life cycle thinking into packaging design and decisions.

Grants of between £50 000 and £150 000 will be available. Ideas could include the redesign of existing goods or the design of entirely new ones. On the 3rd November 2020 UKCPN will be hosting a competition briefing event online. The draft agenda includes ‘Top tips for a applying for funding.’ Find out more and register for the event.

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