New funding to reduce plastic packaging’s environmental impact

Plastic bags and bottles

£7 million of funding available for business-led research and development projects.

UK Research and Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge has announced the opening of a new £7 million competition.

SSPP is looking for ambitious research and development projects that focus on solving the well-known issues with the sustainability of plastic packaging. Aligning with SSPP’s remit, the aim is to drive a true shift from a linear to a circular economy solution for plastic packaging.

Reduction, refill, reuse

SSPP is particularly interested in projects focused on:

  • the minimising or reduction of plastic packaging
  • packaging suitable for reuse, refill and online delivery
  • sustainable solutions for film and flexibles
  • food grade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene
  • behaviour change leading to less packaging waste or higher recycling rates
  • solutions which address the UK Plastics Pact target for problematic
    or unnecessary single use plastic packaging items.

This new competition is looking to fund bold research and development projects that are well developed, but not yet at large commercial demonstration scale.

Businesses working on innovative ideas for plastic packaging reduction, re-use, refill and behaviour change are encouraged to apply for funding.

Innovative solutions

Innovative solutions are the key to achieving a circular economy and dramatically reducing the amount of plastic waste entering the environment by 2025.

The maximum grant available will be £4 million, subject to this competition’s rules.

Additional details on funding availability and associated conditions for the competition are available on the Innovate UK Funding Services platform.

Register for the briefing event hosted by the Knowledge Transfer Network to find out more about the competition, how to apply and what makes a good application.

Paul Davidson, Challenge Director for the SSPP challenge, said:

The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging programme is dedicated to supporting innovative projects that will have real-world benefits in reducing plastic waste in the environment. We’ve already seen some exciting projects as a result of our programme.

We are now looking for more projects that can make a big impact on the 2025 UK Plastics Pact targets and that focus on much-needed solutions for packaging reduction, re-use, refill and changing consumer behaviour when it comes to plastic packaging use.

Further information

The SSPP aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products, with £60 million in funding from ISCF which will be complemented by £149 million from industry.

The challenge will deliver cleaner growth across the supply chain, with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025. Part of this funding will develop and demonstrate at scale new business models for reuse and refill as well as behavioural change.

Top image: Credit: curtoicurto / Getty Images

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