UKRI has opened up a new £16 million funding competition for projects to develop sustainable solutions to plastic packaging challenges
The competition will fund large-scale commercial demonstration projects that include first-of-a-kind infrastructure and trials of new packaging concepts and technologies.
All projects must deliver one or more of the UK Plastic Pact targets and clearly explain how they would reduce the UK plastic packaging system’s overall environmental impact
The projects must also focus on one or more sustainable plastic packaging themes such as materials, product design, manufacturing technology and process, business model, supply chain and value chain design and value chain and end-user behaviour change.
The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging team have listed these key themes as potential projects:
- Reuse and refill approaches
- Solutions for film and flexibles
- Creation of infrastructure for food grade recycled polypropylene (rPP)
- Behavioural change projects encouraging:
- Propensity to use refills
- Reduction in the use of plastic packaging
- Recycling more from home and on the go.
Paul Davidson, challenge director for UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge, said:
“Our aim with this competition is to release the potential of new ideas on a larger scale. Whether it’s new approaches for infrastructure that revolutionise packaging processes, or changes to the components and manufacture of the materials themselves, our aim for the Demonstrator funding is to showcase the possibilities for creating an efficient and sustainable plastic industry.
“Reduction, recycle and re-use will be key elements of successful applications, all geared towards our fundamental aim of creating a greener approach to plastic packaging use in the UK.
“We believe collaboration is the cornerstone of successful innovation, which is why we have made it a requirement of the competition. Having expertise and insight from businesses, researchers, academics and technology innovators all working together allows a more complete picture to be made for the potential scope and success of the project ideas.
“We look forward to seeing the development of these new concepts and how they could make a lasting impact in the sector.”
Applications can be submitted here.
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