Innovation fund to fight plastic waste
June 19, 2018
The UK Government has announced a new plastics research and innovation fund, with the intention of driving a more sustainable approach to plastic manufacturing and consumption.
The £20 million ($26.3 million/€22.8 million) package is being launched to encourage Britain’s scientists and innovators move the country towards a circular economy, reports Scitech Europa.
The fund, which was announced by MP Sam Gyimah, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, will be managed by UK Research and Innovation, and delivered through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Innovate UK, and the Natural Environment Research Council.
“There’s been incredible progress in making people aware of the danger that plastic can do to our environment and our oceans,” said Gyimah. “Today we are announcing a £20m fund for our best scientists and researchers through UKRI to come up with new technology and also new plastics that do not harm the environment so much. This means moving from our current model of make, use and dispose to a new model where you use, you reuse, and you recycle.”
The fund will comprise three parts – leadership and knowledge exchange; research; and business-led research and development – and will be connected with various initiatives across the business, government, and research and innovation communities to encourage the trading of knowledge and the identification of future priorities, in order to enable the transition to circular economy.
It also aims to co-ordinate existing knowledge around the country, as well as “catalysing new ideas and solutions across the research and innovation landscape.”
“It is imperative we change our use and misuse of plastic,” said UKRI Chief Executive Sir Mark Walport. “This fund will help to create the range of new approaches and alternatives needed to rapidly reverse the impact that our use of plastics is having on the planet.”
Robert Jenrick, MP and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, added: “We are tackling the issue of plastic waste to protect our environment for future generations. One important part of this will be backing the creation of innovative products and methods of recycling plastic.”
For more on the current threat of plastic waste, and the various initiatives to curb it, look out for our feature, ‘Plastic waste: The crisis of our times’, in Issue 308 of The Recycler, coming soon.
Categories : Around the Industry