The UK is to lead the world in the development of a system of sustainable packaging which moves away from oil-based plastics, with the help of a £60 million investment from Government.

Boosted by the injection of funds, the initiative – delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – plans to transform food scraps and industrial waste into eco-friendly plastic packaging.

It is hoped that so-called ‘smart’ labels and bins would ‘revolutionize the way recycling is sorted in waste plants’, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Further, it could ‘end confusion over what rubbish goes in which recycling bin’, while the addition of living sell-by-dates would demonstrate to consumers when food is going off; a feature designed to reduce food waste.

The investment is subject to industry entering into partnership with the Government, and committing to ‘significant co-investment to this challenge’.

Bolstering this deal, the Government has announced plans to develop bio-based and biodegradable plastics to ‘help boost bioeconomy’ and set ‘world-leading standards’ in sustainable packaging.

Today’s funding and sector strategy enhances our position as a global leader on improving our environment

Claire Perry, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, comments: “Finding innovative solutions to tackle our use of harmful plastics which blight our land and seas is a major global challenge and opportunity – one our nation of researchers and innovators is fit to seize.

“Today’s funding and sector strategy enhances our position as a global leader on improving our environment and tackling climate change. It will make us a beacon for design, manufacturing and exporting of sustainable plastics and environmentally-friendly replacements for polluting products as we move to a greener, cleaner economy – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

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About the Author

Rosie Greenaway

With a background in writing editorial and creative content for the events, design, travel, food and wellbeing industries, Rosie now turns her focus towards the natural and organic sector as editor of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News.

Articles by Rosie Greenaway
Rosie Greenaway
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