UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested nearly £ 2million in 14 projects aimed at solving ‘consumer concerns with plastic packaging’.
Funded through the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, these projects will aim to develop “better options for future plastic packaging whether you’re in the kitchen, bathroom or on the go,” says the UKRI.
To date, the challenge has invested over £ 30million for innovation in smart and sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products.
The projects include a number of new high performance bio-based polymers that have the potential to replace current oil-based plastic packaging materials in multiple applications for everyday consumer products.
This fund helps create new packaging materials that are less harmful to the planet, as well as packaging for products that can be refilled or easily recycled at home.
The funding will also help prototype new lines of cleaning products in reusable and refillable packaging, which, when phased out, will create significantly lower CO2 emissions than single-use alternatives.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said, “People want to be able to buy products that are better for the environment and use less plastic. This fund helps create new packaging materials that are less harmful to the planet, as well as packaging for products that can be refilled or easily recycled at home.
“This innovation will help us achieve our goal of eliminating all preventable plastic waste by 2024 and builds on our draft environmental law which will allow us to introduce deposit systems for beverage containers in plastic and make companies more responsible for the packaging they produce. “
Loopy Products Ltd.
Recently featured on Dragons Den for their green cleaning products, Loopy Products Ltd is in the process of developing a formula for the very first tablet dish soap. It would replace the 500ml plastic dish soap bottles and instead be dissolved by the consumer at home.
Central Pharma Contract Packaging Limited
A project led by Central Pharma Contract Packaging Limited will create a circular system that will allow 100% of drug blister packs to be recyclable with convenient public drop-off points.
The Ocean Bottle Ltd
The Ocean Bottle Ltd, which has created reusable plastic bottles that are recyclable without ocean-bound bisphenol A (BPA), will design and test the first-ever customer loyalty platform that encourages refills, using a collection of plastic guaranteed.
Improve public information
Funding also goes to some of the UK’s most active non-profit organizations working to improve information and public resources to implement reuse and recharge.
WRAP aims to improve our understanding of how to operate charging solutions for the “weekly department store,” including the entire trip from home to store.
The projects carried out by OPRL and Recoup will provide solutions, such as effective labeling systems and communication strategies. These will aim to make it easier for the public to know how and where to properly recycle their plastic packaging.
Recoup will work with 13 Kent councils and approximately 1.5 million residents to assess the understanding and effectiveness of communications related to recycling.
A change in behavior will drive this shift from single-use plastics to reuse, recharge and recycling solutions.
The 14 projects will engage with an extensive network of plastic packaging value chain stakeholders to develop solutions for the full lifecycle of plastic packaging, including production, design, recycling and reuse. .
These projects will bring together some of the UK’s most pioneering start-ups with our biggest consumer brands and well-respected organizations seeking to change attitudes and behavior towards plastic waste.
Paul Davidson, Director of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, said: “We fund really smart innovations for consumer packaging. When these projects enter the distribution phase, we’re going to see big changes in the way we shop, our experiences with food packaging and what we understand to be plastic packaging.
“Behavioral change will drive this change from single-use plastics to reuse, recharge and recycling solutions. “