Waitrose and Partners has teamed up with environmental charity Hubbub to launch an initiative to address growing plastic pollution in the country.

The initiative called ‘Plan Plastic – The Million Pound Challenge’ will award selected projects that demonstrate new approaches to tackle plastic pollution.

Grants will range from £150,000 to £300,000 and will be provided over one year. Waitrose and Partners has raised a £1m fund for the initiative through the sale of 5p carrier bags.

Waitrose and Partners Health and Agriculture CSR head Tor Harris said: “We hope the fund will help find new and effective ways of accelerating action to rethink how we all use and dispose of plastic – now and in the future.

“We take this issue very seriously, and are making progress all the time, but we’re determined to maintain our momentum as well as supporting others to do the same.”

The initiative seeks application from various organisations, including charities, academic bodies, schools, colleges and social enterprises.

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Interested entities can send their applications across five project areas, namely plastics in the community, education, public behaviour change, food, agriculture and microplastics.

It includes projects encouraging plastic recycling and circular economy, while it raises awareness among children and young people about the impact of plastic pollution. It also encourages new ways of shopping.

“It will support innovative thinking on how to combat the issue of plastic pollution.”

Projects that are part of the initiative focus on plastic alternatives for use in food, agriculture and farming industries. They are also helping to reduce the impact of microplastic pollution.

Hubbub founder and CEO Trewin Restorick said: “Waitrose’s new grant fund is tremendously exciting as it will support innovative thinking on how to combat the issue of plastic pollution.

“We’ll be on the lookout for entries that really demonstrate a tangible impact and that will have a longer-term legacy beyond the grant funding stage.”

An independent expert panel will evaluate the applications and the selected grantees will be announced in May.