Winners of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge announced

THE UK Government has announced the winners of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge.

The initiative awards funding to early-stage projects that could turn into viable future sustainable plastic solutions. A total investment of around £175,000 was awarded to the five project winners, with each in the early stage of their development.

The government said that each of the projects touch on all of the key pillars of the SSPP strategy, which seeks to help deliver the UK Plastics Pact by reducing the number of plastic packaging being used, increasing the amount of reusable packaging concepts and systems in place, and improving recycling rates through both behaviour change and better recycling capability.

The winners are:

  • Anthropocene Mining, led by Evolve Packaging in collaboration with Cambond, aiming to prove the feasibility of their innovative concept which uses waste plastics destined for burning or landfill and turns them into a new engineered composite material that can, in turn, be used to make new products – helping to increase recycling rates of hard-to-recycle plastics
  • CauliBox’s Digitally-Enabled Reusable LUnch-Box Scheme (DERLUBS), led by Cauli in collaboration with Sustainable Venture Development Partners and Westminster City Council, which will develop and trial a digitally-enabled reusable lunchbox in a scheme that rewards sustainable behaviours and replaces single-use plastic packaging at the same time
  • CircuPlast – assessment of a novel process technology to enable a circular approach to the management of plastics packaging waste, led by Stopford Projects in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, which seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of new supercritical water technology to enable the recycling of common single-use packaging plastics (PP, PE, LDPE, HDPE and laminates) which today’s recycling infrastructure cannot deal with
  • Reath’s, led by Reath, aimed at creating an easily adoptable Open Data Standard (ODS) for a digital passport called “” combined with software to allow track and trace options for items of packaging – knowledge that will help tackle plastic waste leaking from the system into the environment
  • Slip additive for PET plastic packaging (SAP3), led by Croda Europe in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast, which aims to increase the efficiency and sustainability of PET bottle production.

The SSPP challenge will run until 2025 and will represent a total public investment of £60 million. UK Research and Innovation and Innovate UK will be measuring both the short and longer-term impact of the challenge as it progresses and beyond.