New £475k funding scheme to trial and pilot new refill infrastructure

The funding has been launched by WRAP and is open to all retailers, manufacturers and supply chain partners.

Working in partnership with UK Research and Innovation, WRAP is delivering a £1.4 million grant programme. The aim is to support the objectives of the UK Plastics Pact and the delivery of the UK Government’s target of achieving zero avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042. Round one of funding was completed in 2019 with four successful projects.

The overall aim of the programme is to support the delivery of the UK Government’s target of achieving zero avoidable plastic waste by end of 2042 and the objectives of The UK Plastics Pact. By 2025 the aim is to achieve:

  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted
  • Take actions to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models
  • A minimum of 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

Second round is now open

Now in 2020 the second round is open to applicants who are looking to trial and pilot new interventions that will implement refill infrastructure within an existing or new supply chain.

WRAP is seeking eligible applicants with project proposals that have strong commercial potential to reduce the use of single use primary plastic packaging.

Projects should also “offer significant opportunity to challenge and change 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 awards will range in size from £50,000 to £150,000 and grant recipients must have secure 25% match funding. Projects must be collaborative with the project lead must be from industry as a business or organisation that is currently dealing with, or planning to operate in, a plastic supply chain.

Currently very much a niche activity

The launch of the grant follows news that a disposable drinking recycling cup group have missed an 8% recycling target and the launch of a campaign by City to Sea to highlight that reusable containers are safe to use during the COVID-19 crisis.

reusable coffee cup

Meanwhile, last year Waitrose launched and then extended a successful packaging-free pick and mix trial, demonstrating how refill schemes can work and their popularity with consumers.

Robbie Staniforth, head of policy at Ecosurety commented "In spite of much industry talk on the subject, shopping using refillable containers is still very much a niche activity. These targeted grants from WRAP are much needed if we are truly going to innovate our way out of a waste problem."

"There are certainly many household products that could easily be packaged in reuseable containers. Packaging is a vital part of the circular economy as it ensures we do not waste the vital products contained within. But that does not mean packaging must be single-use and one-way in all instances."

"I hope these grants are given to ideas that target fast-moving products, where most of the waste derives, as this is where the biggest impact can be made."

How to apply

Stage one of this second round requires applicants to submit an expression of interest by 6th August 2020, with the main application stage closing in mid-October 2020. Final funding decisions will be made in November or December 2020.

Full details about how to apply can be found here.

Ben Luger

Marketing projects specialist

Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.

Written by Ben Luger Published 10/07/2020 Topics Packaging
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