New competition offers £7m for sustainable plastic packaging

It is seeking ‘ambitious and bold’ projects that focus on solving well-known issues with the sustainability of plastic packaging, with the aim of driving a shift towards a circular economy solution

The Big Zero report

A new competition is offering a share of £7 million for business-led research and development projects into sustainable plastic packaging.

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) is providing the funding for “ambitious and bold” projects that focus on solving well-known issues with the sustainability of plastic packaging, with the aim of driving a shift towards a circular economy solution.

SSPP is particularly interested in projects focused on minimising or reducing plastic packaging, packaging suitable for reuse, refill and online delivery, sustainable solutions for film and flexibles and food grade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene.

In addition, it is also seeking projects that focus on behaviour change leading to less packaging waste or higher recycling rates and solutions that address the UK Plastics Pact target for problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging items.

Projects seeking funding must be well developed but not yet at large commercial demonstration scale.

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.”

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