UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced the opening of a new £16 million funding competition for large-scale plastic packaging projects.
The demonstrator projects rounds 2 initiative will back projects that include first of a kind infrastructure and trials of new packaging concepts and technologies.
It forms part of the smart sustainable plastic packaging (SSPP) challenge, which aims to develop a more sustainable plastic packaging supply chain, drive research into new materials and processes, and encourage collaboration to help reduce the environmental impacts of plastic packaging.
All projects must support the UK to deliver one or more of the plastic pact targets and clearly explain how they would reduce the UK plastic packaging system’s overall environmental impact.
They must also focus on one or more of the following sustainable packaging themes: materials; product design; manufacturing technology and process; business model, supply chain and value chain design; value chain and end-user behaviour change.
The SSPP team has also identified the following key themes for potential projects: reuse and refill approaches; solutions for film and flexible; creation of infrastructure for food grade recycled polypropylene (rPP); and behaviour change projects encouraging propensity to use refills, reduction in the use of plastic packaging and/or recycling more from home and on the go.
Paul Davidson, challenge director for UK Research and Innovation’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.”
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