Plastic pollution: the UK industrial strategy innovations

Plastic pollution: the UK industrial strategy innovations
© iStock/nikom1234

The UK government has announced the eleven winners of funding from the industrial strategy to develop innovative projects which reduce harmful plastic pollution.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent report identified an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the devastating global impacts of climate change. The UK government argue that its industrial strategy and focus on reducing plastic pollution will “tackle plastic waste [which] will help the UK realise the economic benefits of this global move to tackle climate change.” The reduction of plastic pollution will be backed by a £4 million government fund as part of the industrial strategy.

Plastic pollution

Professor Duncan Wingham, the executive chair of the Natural Environment Research Council and PRIF lead for UKRI, said: “The plastics research innovation fund starts bringing the strength of UK research and innovation’s entire portfolio from environment to technology to business to behaviour and regulation, to bear on the pressing and very widely recognised problem of plastic waste.”

The winners of the government funding include:

  • Skipping Rocks Lab in London, which is working on a scheme to end single-use condiment sachets by replacing plastic packaging with seaweed, which biodegrades quickly;
  •  Ichthion, which is using a vacuum mounted on a boat to filter plastic out of UK waters ;
  •  Axion, which is turning plastics which are currently sent to landfill into new products such as bins or cables; and
  • Polymateria, which is making biodegradable plastic which allows people to throw the packaging into the food waste compost.

The UK industrial strategy

Greg Clark, the UK Business and Energy Secretary, said: “Companies are capitalising on the UK’s world leading research base to develop products that tackle the global scourge of plastic waste while grasping the business opportunities found in the green economy. When you combine Britain’s leadership, innovation and determination it is an unbeatable combination – exactly what our Industrial Strategy and Green GB Week are supporting and encouraging.”

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