UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced £3.2 million in funding for 17 projects involved in plastic packaging reduction, reuse and recycling.
The funding has been awarded through the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Future Plastic Packaging Sollutions II competition.
These projects awarded funding fall into three categories, which are:
- Alternative materials – five of the projects look at plant-based biodegradable polymers to replace those produced by fossil fuels
- Stimulating reuse and refill – five other projects explore how to stimulate more reuse and refill to reduce single-use packaging
- Increased recycling and plastic pollution mapping – the remaining projects focus on enhancing UK plastic recycling through sorting, novel digital approaches and nudging consumer recycling. A final project also looks at using artificial intelligence to track and remove marine plastic pollution.
UKRI SSPP Challenge director Paul Davidson said: “SSPP is working to make plastic packaging fit for a sustainable future, supporting over 70 research and innovation projects focused on consumer plastic packaging.
“Taken together, these latest SSPP-funded projects offer up exciting opportunities to tackle plastic packaging waste holistically by reducing it at source, encouraging the rollout of reuse and refill business models, and driving more effective and sophisticated recycling and pollution monitoring and measuring.”