UK: New funding competition to drive innovation in smart sustainable plastics

UK Research & Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge has launched a new £2.5 million Future Plastic Packaging Solutions Round 2 competition for research and innovation projects seeking grant funding from £30,000 to £250,000.

From new recycling processes to reuse and refill solutions and novel polymers, the £60 million SSPP Challenge is working to make plastic packaging fit for a sustainable future. It is the largest and most ambitious UK government investment to date in sustainable plastics research and innovation, and is focused on driving a step change in the UK’s ability to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic packaging.

This latest competition is open to applications from projects that:

  • help make the plastics packaging supply chain more circular;
  • deliver the objectives and/or targets of the UK Plastics Pact, creating a circular economy for plastics, keeping them in the economy and out of the natural environment;
  • embed lifecycle thinking and end-of-life in packaging design and decisions.

“In building the SSPP project portfolio, we have been aiming for a balanced approach that targets some of the key barriers to increasing the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic packaging,” explains SSPP Challenge Director Paul Davidson. “For this competition, we are looking for bold and ambitious innovation proposals that keep the value embedded in plastic packaging in the economy, and out of the natural environment.”

In this funding round, SSPP is particularly interested in proposals focused on:

  • preventing, mitigating or measuring plastic packaging litter pollution in the environment;
  • facilitating and scaling-up the adoption of reuse, refill and prefill packaging systems; and
  • novel chemical recycling approaches for PET packaging.

The competition runs until 9th November and full details of the scope and application process are available here.

About UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge

UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging, driving cleaner growth across the supply chain, and delivering a significant reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025. The Challenge brings together academia, the full plastic packaging value chain and other key stakeholders, and supports the delivery of the 2025 UK Plastics Pact targets.

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