Waitrose launch £1 million grant fund to tackle plastic pollution 

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Retailer Waitrose has announced a £1 million grant fund to support projects designed to reduce unnecessary plastic and tackle plastic pollution.  

Plan Plastic: The Million Pound Challenge will award money, over one year, to projects that can show an impact on plastic pollution now and in the future.  

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Waitrose has partnered with environmental charity Hubbub to help the chosen projects and measure the effect of the grants. 

The fund has been raised from the sale of 5p carrier bags, with the grants ranging from £150,000 to £300,000.  

Applications for Plan Plastic are open until 24th February and will be welcomed from a range of organisations including charities, academic bodies, social enterprises, and schools and colleges, across the following areas: 

  • Plastics in the community – projects encouraging and enabling plastic recycling and the circular economy linked to social impact 
  • Education – campaigns aimed at children and young people to raise awareness and change behaviour to reduce plastic pollution 
  • Public behaviour change – projects inspiring and enabling new ways of shopping and consuming 
  • Food agriculture and farming – projects focusing on finding alternatives, reducing use, and increasing reuse of plastics in the food, agriculture and farming sectors 
  • Micro plastics – projects aimed at identifying the impact, reducing the prevalence and preventing micro plastic pollution.  

After the deadline, a panel made up of representatives from academia, industry, nongovernmental organisations, business and senior Waitrose Partners, will come together in April to review the submissions. Grantees will be announced in May 2019.  

Waitrose & Partners head of corporate social responsibility, health and agriculture Tor Harris said: “We hope the fund will help find new and effective ways of accelerating action to rethink how we all use and dispose of plastic now and in the future. We take this issue very seriously, and are making progress all the time, but we’re determined to maintain our momentum as well as supporting others to do the same.” 

Hubbub chief executive and founder Trewin Restorick said: “Waitrose’s new grant fund is tremendously exciting as it will support innovative thinking on how to combat the issue of plastic pollution. We’ll be on the lookout for entries that really demonstrate a tangible impact and that will have a longer-term legacy beyond the grant funding stage.  We’d encourage any eligible organisation working in this space to apply via the website.” 

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