The UK Government has granted £60m to develop sustainable packaging solutions such as environmentally friendly plastic bags and cups using household food scraps.

The funding will be delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

It will be used to develop new forms of packaging and plastic from farming, food and industrial waste, including sugar beet, wood chippings and food waste. It will also help reduce oil-based plastics.

It will focus on smart packaging labels to make customers aware of how to use smart bins to recycle waste and assist in sorting the waste.

Other initiatives by the government include a ‘live’ sell-by-date patch to educate consumers on reducing food waste as well as increase the use of recycled plastic in new products.

“Today’s funding and sector strategy enhances our position as a global leader on improving our environment and tackling climate change.”

UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “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.”

Companies focusing on developing smart sustainable plastic packaging solutions can access the fund through UKRI-managed competitions.