£1.7 million grant to cut plastic pollution

Volunteer man collecting trash on the beach. Ecology concept

Sustainability charity WRAP and Innovate UK have launched a major new UK fund to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment in India, Chile, Kenya and South Africa.

The International Circular Plastics Flagship Projects competition is a £1.7 million fund designed to address the problem of plastics pollution in these key nations.

Applicants can apply for funding ranging from £50,000 to £250,000 that demonstrate solutions that respond to specific targets under the plastics pacts of each nation, and that will ultimately help reduce plastic pollution in:

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Latin America.

Four key themes

The funding focusses on four key themes:

  • flexible film packs including small format
  • reusable packaging and new business models
  • collection, sorting, cleaning and recycling
  • end market development.

WRAP, the UK based charity that has driven the development of plastics pacts in the UK and around the world, including those in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network of Pacts, will deliver the grant on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

David Rogers, Head of International Programmes at WRAP said:

This funding forms a key part of our ongoing work to reduce the impact of plastic pollution across the globe. It will address one of the world’s most urgent and escalating environmental challenges and show how innovation and collaboration can contribute towards systematic change.

WRAP is proud to have worked on each of the plastics pacts, which now means that there is now a plastics pact in every populous continent on the planet.

Paul Davison, Challenge Director for the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge at UKRI:

Representatives from dozens of nations gathered at COP26 in Glasgow to try to find solutions for environmental issues that affect the entire planet. One the most urgent issues is that of plastic pollution.

UKRI and the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge is in the vanguard of supporting efforts to address this challenge and we are proud to support this vital initiative.

Organisations that are interested in applying should do so before the 13 January 2022 at 23:45 GMT. More information can be found on WRAP’s website.

Further information

WRAP is a global NGO based in the UK. It is one of the UK’s top five environmental charities and works with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably.

It is the charity leading the:

  • UK plastics pact (a world first)
  • courtauld commitment 2030
  • textiles 2030.

As well as the citizen campaigns:

  • Love Food Hate Waste
  • Love Your Clothes
  • Clear on Plastics
  • Recycle Now.

WRAP works collaboratively and develops and delivers evidence-based, solutions to reduce the environmental cost of:

  • the food we eat
  • the clothes we wear
  • the plastic packaging we use.

Founded in 2000 in the UK, WRAP now works around the world and is a Global Alliance Partner of The Royal Foundation’s Earthshot Prize.


The Kenya plastics pact, launched in October 2021, has 26 members representing every stage of the plastics packaging supply chain including:

  • influential industry associations
  • environmental NGOs
  • advocacy groups
  • the government from across the region.

The Kenya plastics pact is working towards an ambitious set of joint 2030 targets to create a circular economy for plastics in Kenya.


The India plastics pact has been developed by WWF India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). WRAP, with funding by UKRI and Stewart Investors is a strategic partner of the India plastic pact. Stakeholders include:

  • Indian businesses
  • NGOs
  • government.

They are all uniting behind the India plastics pact. The pact launched in September 2021 and aims to transform the entire plastics value chain through four ambitious and measurable targets.


The Chilean plastics pact, led by Fundacion Chile, was launched in 2019 and brings together stakeholders from the whole plastics value chain from packaging producers to recyclers, as well as other organisations including:

  • government
  • NGO
  • trade associations
  • academia.

They are working towards four common and ambitious targets to advance plastic circularity. WRAP is a strategic partner of the Chilean plastics pact.

South Africa

The South African plastics pact is a collaborative pre-competitive initiative that brings together key stakeholders from the local plastics value chain including:

  • businesses
  • the South African government
  • Producer responsibility organisations (PROs)
  • NGOs
  • other key players to tackle plastics waste and pollution at its source.

WRAP is a supporter of the South African plastics pact, which has an ambitious set of four 2025 targets to create a circular economy for plastics in South Africa.


This session will provide background details regarding the International Circular Plastics Flagship competition and the challenge statements, and will provide information on how to apply to the competition.

There will be a 30 minute question and answers session following the main presentation.

Top image:  Credit: Inside Creative House, Getty Images

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