Posted: Mon 20th Feb 2023
Eco-friendly entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for grants of up to £50,000 for projects that help with the recycling of flexible plastic packaging.
Flexible plastic packaging is any material which can be scrunched up by hand with little effort. That includes cling film, crisp packets and pouches.
With an estimated 895,000 tonnes placed on the UK market each year, flexible plastic packaging accounts for almost a quarter of all consumer plastic packaging.
On average, a typical household creates waste of 70 flexible plastic packaging items per week, equivalent to 292g of waste.
Household collection for the material is not common in the UK, although drop off points are available in many large supermarkets and collection from home is being piloted by some local authorities.
Despite that, only 6% of UK flexible plastic packaging is currently recycled.
The new fund from Innovate UK is aimed at ideas to encourage more household recycling of the material including the creation of a user-friendly in-home container.
Grants of between £25,000 and £50,000 are available for projects that last between three and six months, start by 1 September 2023 and end by 29 February 2024.
Organisations can be a UK registered business of any size, a charity or not for profit.
The fund is part of the wider smart sustainable plastic packaging challenge, a £60m five-year programme covering sustainable plastics research and innovation.