An award of £7m is offered for those willing to work on eradicating common problems with sustainable plastic packaging

An award of £7m is offered for those willing to work on eradicating common problems with sustainable plastic packaging

The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) competition is offering up to £7 million in funding for business-led research and development projects into solving the sustainability of plastics. The SSPP hopes that these ambitious, bold teams will develop a circular economy solution which can then be applied worldwide!


UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) new Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Competition offers grants worth up to £7million for business-lead research on sustainable plastic packaging with an eye towards creating a more environmentally friendly world.


The SSPP is particularly interested in projects focused on minimising or reducing the amount of plastic packaging used, creating food grade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene products with sustainable solutions for film; they feel that this could provide a breakthrough in the development of a more sustainable way to package items, particularly food. 


The government plans to invest up to £60 million in academic-led research projects that will help address known problems. They’re also matching industry’s investments of £149 million with their own funding, totaling a total investment of over £240 billion. This is an exciting opportunity for universities and companies alike.


The UK government is seeking projects that focus on behaviour change leading to less packaging waste. The project should not have reached commercial demonstration scale, but instead be well developed and ready for funding.


The UK Plastics Pact target was put into place in November of 2018 when more than 60 businesses in the United Kingdom, including Aldi and Asda have signed up to a voluntary pledge that will help reduce both environmental pollution as well as depletion of natural resources by reducing their use of plastics;

As these  companies are responsible for about 80% of the plastics currently on supermarket shelves. The roadmap is a guide to help these firms and other organisations find ways to tackle some of their main challenges – like reducing plastic packaging, improving recycling rates or finding alternative materials that can replace traditional ones.


It’s great that these organizations are making strides to have more sustainable packaging. We can get a glimpse of what challenges they’re going to need to overcome so we know how best give them the support and encouragement they need.


The SSPP project aims to tackle a number of issues, but focuses specifically on driving a search into new plastic packaging supply chains throughout the United Kingdom and across the globe. They also commented that they hope to combine the best of technology and environmental awareness in order to mitigate the impact plastic packaging can have. They believe that by using insights into consumer behavior, they will be able encourage collaboration and innovation while also reducing any major negative impacts of plastics on both people or animals.


So, what are their next steps? 

There are two further funding opportunities available for February of 2021, as follows…

1. SSPP demonstrator round 2 is a £12 million grant put in place to help to fund any type of large-scale commercial demonstrator project, including projects that are firsts or involve new packaging technology.

2. Secondly, the SSPP business-lead research and development competition holds a large sum of £4million in funding per project. You can read more about this here.