Close up of multicoloured plastic pellets

UK Circular Plastics Flagship Projects Competition

Funding for plastics innovation

WRAP, working in partnership with UK Research and Innovation, is pleased to be delivering this £1.4 million grant programme. 

Round 1

A funding call was launched at the inaugural annual meeting for members of The UK Plastics Pact in 2018. Any UK business with fresh ideas to tackle the issue of plastic waste was able to apply to the fund, for grants of between £100,000 and £500,00, to support piloting and evaluation with a view to wider implementation. Applicants had to consider projects in relation to four central criteria: 

  • to reduce the total volume of plastic waste arising from the UK
  • to significantly improve the rate of UK plastic recycling
  • to reduce levels of confusion amongst citizens
  • and to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans.
This grant is now closed to applications.

Grants awarded

Four organisations received funding.

Grant recipient Sub-grant partner Location Grant value Project overview
Impact Solutions Scottish Plastic Recycling Centre of Excellence Scotland £229,525 Impact Solutions has developed a new recycling technology, PolyChrome that can remove colour and additives from polyethylene and polypropylene plastic while also preparing it for end users. PolyChrome builds on Impact's existing separation system and aims to use this technology to develop a scalable and commercially viable system. This projects will enable the technology to be used in a demonstration unit, while performing the techno-economic evaluation that will feed into the design of a full-scale prototype/pilot system.
Luxus Technology Research Centre (TRC) East Midlands £255,730 To optimise material/packaging formulation, using an algorithm that searches the best method to use recycled materials and improve cost-efficiency. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a predictive model, in order to produce a cost-optimised suite of formulations for complex polymer compounds to an order book of batch specifications, using variable input raw materials and a range of additives. 
Unilever University of Liverpool North West England £128,417 To develop a novel packaging solution for the Domestos brand bleach product that includes a higher percentage (?70%) of post-consumer recycled plastic in high density polyethylene bottles. This is an ambitious project that has potential to pave the way for other products in the home care category and other branches (professional cleaning, drain openers and other products where the formulations are made up of corrosive/oxidative substances). This pilot project builds on a programme of research and experiments completed by Unilever and partners to date.
Technology Research Centre RPC Containers Ltd East Midlands £307,030 An innovative, contaminated film separation technique to achieve full recovery of polyethylene, polypropylene, terephthalate and aluminium from multi-layered packaging waste (including film, semi-rigid trays, cups and tubs). 
    Total £920,702  


Round 2

A further competition round was launched to address innovation in refill infrastructure. This supported applicants trialling and piloting new interventions implementing refill infrastructure within an existing or new supply chain. Focus was given to projects with strong commercial potential to reduce the use of single use primary plastic packaging, and those with significant opportunity to challenge the status quo by changing the way retailers and their associated supply chain partners manage and design their supply chains in order to incorporate new refill options for their customers.

The grant supported collaborative projects that were business-led between retailers, manufactures and/or supply chain partners to demonstrate innovative refill initiatives across the supply chain, and which can be communicated to the wider industry for the benefit of all.

This grant is now closed to applications.

Grants awarded

Four organisations received funding.

Grant recipient Sub-grant partner Location Grant value Project overview
Tenschul Limited SESI Food and Household Refill LLP South East £107,236 The Mangrove Project is a collaboration to design and build a wet product automated dispenser with track and trace technology for refillable vessels. The dispenser captures data across the full breath of the supply chain. This data can inform the manufacturer and retailer about stock levels, customer preferences and habits to streamline the supply chain process as well as enabling impact analysis, useful for customer engagement.
LESS& Ltd - London £150,000 This project aims to reduce plastic use in consumer goods with reusable containers collected, washed and refilled, ready to be reused. The project will use a range of materials, initially focused on stainless steel and glass. Delivery will be direct to consumers in emissions-free vehicles.
Good Clubs Limited Packaging Services Europe Limited London £106,069 The aim of this project is to develop a closed loop, refillable delivery system where product containers can be returned, cleaned and reused many times. Developing such a system is complex, requiring solutions that successfully integrate with existing consumer behaviours and supply chain infrastructure.
Braincare Limited t/a Heights Wepack Ltd East Midlands £81,930 This is a refillable packaging system that builds in sustainability and user-centricity from the start. The project will specifically look to replace the 'single-use' PETG plastic bottle with a reusable container-system that features a durable ‘keeper’ vessel to hold a monthly refill of capsules or tablets.
    Total £445,235