UKRI invests £8m into sustainable plastics projects

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Last week, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announced that it would award £8m to ten university-led research projects as part of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP).

This funding will support the SSPP Enabling Research competition's aim of tackling plastic waste in the UK, allowing for the winning projects to develop solutions to existing issues with plastic packaging and pollution. 

Winning projects will see the universities working alongside partners from across the plastics sector to ensure solutions are responding to industry needs. Initiatives include increasing the use of compostable plastic, utilising smart technology to change the way takeaway food is packaged, and creating new circular approaches to waste management.

The ten universities to be awarded the funding for their research are University of Strathclyde; University of Manchester; Brunel University, London; University College London; Loughborough University; City, University of London; University of Sheffield; University of Lancaster; University of Liverpool and University of Cambridge. 

The SSPP competition’s next round of funding is now open for applications.

Paul Davidson, challenge director of the SSPP challenge, described the Enabling Research projects as a ‘huge step forward’ in the UK’s search for alternative methods of making, using and disposing of plastic packaging. 

“This funding will help experts from across the country address the important issue of making plastics more environmental-conscious,” Davidson commented. “We look forward to hearing the outcomes of this project investment and how this will benefit both the UK and global environment.”

Melissa Bradshaw

Reporter, Mark Allen Group

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