UK Government and businesses commit £209m to cut plastic waste

23 July 2019 (Last Updated July 23rd, 2019 12:54)

The UK has pledged £60m to help cut single-use plastics and supply-chain waste, using the investment to focus on new forms of packaging.

UK Government and businesses commit £209m to cut plastic waste
England’s national recycling campaign Recycle Now states on its website that all types of plastic bottle can be recycled with the exception of anything containing chemicals, such as antifreeze. Credit: Carsten ten Brink.

The UK has pledged £60m to help cut single-use plastics and supply-chain waste, using the investment to focus on new forms of packaging.

The government is expecting businesses across the country to generate around £149m for the cause, taking the total investment to £209m.

The commitment is part of the government’s Clean Growth Challenge within its modern industrial strategy.

With the investment, the government is also hoping to develop plastic made from plants, wood chippings and food waste, as well as introducing new business models and sustainable recyclable materials.

UK business secretary Greg Clark said: “We have all seen the enormous damage being caused by single-use plastics across the world.

“The race is on to develop new, effective and practical solutions to end the scourge of single-use plastics, helping protect our planet for future generations.

“We have put a record level of research and development investment at the heart of our industrial strategy – investing to support our best minds and businesses in developing the solutions and industries of tomorrow.

“This government and business co-investment clearly demonstrates that when it comes to cutting plastics pollution, there is a shared ambition.

“This is a unique opportunity for our world-leading businesses and innovators to develop the materials of the future, with the potential to transform our economy as well as our environment.”

A range of initiatives such as the development of plastics using plants and other recyclable products are already being supported as part of the investment, made through the modern industrial strategy.

London-based start-up Skipping Rocks Lab is among a group of companies that have developed new packaging made from Notpla, a material produced using seaweed and plants.

UK Research and Innovation chief executive Sir Mark Walport said: “Plastic pollution is a global crisis that affects our oceans and our land.

“The new investment through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging solutions, delivering cleaner growth across the supply chain with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025.”