A new £6 million (€6.69 million) programme has been announced which will provide funding to UK businesses working towards reducing plastic waste.
With more than eight million tonnes of plastic entering the world’s oceans each year and the total amount of plastic in the sea set to triple by 2025, Innovate UK and Sky Ocean Ventures have formed a partnership to reward plastic reduction projects by British businesses. The public-private partnership will see Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, and Sky Ocean Ventures, a subsidiary of Sky, each contribute £3 million (€3.35 million) to fund projects reducing plastic waste in the ocean.
The partnership is welcoming funding applications from small and micro UK-based businesses, proposing feasibility studies, development experiments and industrial research for reducing plastic waste. Successful applicants will receive up to 100 per cent of their proposed funding for totals between £100,000 (€111,552) and £200,000 (€223,103), divided evenly between Innovate UK and Sky Ocean Ventures.
Projects reducing plastic waste may include:
- Creating sustainable alternatives to plastic;
- Developing systems of resource use and design which support a circular economy;
- New product designs and plastics recycling processes; and
- Devising models to change consumer behaviour using technology.
Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said of the need for reducing plastic waste: “Plastic waste has created a crisis that needs a global resolution. We need businesses, investors, government and researchers pulling in the same direction, creating workable solutions that people will be able to see on the shelves before it’s too late.”
Fred Michel, Group Director at Impact Investment and Sky Ocean Ventures, said: “Our aim is to enable entrepreneurs to support innovative new ideas at the earliest stages with both investment and mentorship. We will use the reach and voice of Sky’s platforms to highlight their solutions and help consumers change behaviours.”