Smart sustainable plastic packaging challenge

Fruit in plastic containers on supermarket shelf

The smart sustainable plastic packaging (SSPP) challenge will establish the UK as a leader in smart sustainable packaging and support a reduction in waste entering the environment.

In total it will fund up to £60 million to support academic-led research to address known problems and to support industry-led collaborative research and development of new technologies, matched by £149 million from industry.

The challenge aims to:

  • tackle the environmental impact of plastic packaging through the development of a more sustainable plastic packaging supply chain in the UK
  • drive research and innovation to develop more sustainable plastic packaging materials and designs, and enable new recycling processes and infrastructure
  • encourage collaboration and innovation in integrated circular supply chains using insights into consumer behaviour to reduce the environmental impacts of plastic packaging.

Read more about UKRI business funding opportunities and networking.

Projects so far

Funded projects include:

Read more about the projects (Innovate UK blog).

Next steps

Two funding opportunities are opening next year:

  • SSPP demonstrator round 2 (open from February 2021) can provide funding of up to £12 million per project for large-scale commercial demonstrator projects, including first of a kind infrastructure or large-scale commercial trials of new packaging technology or systems.
  • SSPP business-led research and development competition will provide funding of up to £4 million per project.

Sign up to find out more about upcoming SSPP competitions (UK Circular Plastics Network).

Last updated: 24 May 2021

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