Funding new innovations to tackle plastic pollution in India, Chile, South Africa and Kenya
The International Circular Plastics Flagship Projects Competition - developed and delivered in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - has awarded funding of £1.2 million to six UK based innovators to deliver programmes that tackle specific plastic related issues within India, Chile, South Africa and Kenya.
The competition called for technical innovations to address specific challenges identified by the India Plastics Pact, Chile Plastics Pact, South Africa Plastics Pact and Kenya Plastics Pact. These included films and flexible packaging, reusable packaging, new business models and end market developments.
The funding recipients
Applicants applied for funding ranging from £50,000 up to £250,000 that demonstrated solutions to specific challenges identified by each Plastics Pact. The funding will will help drive forward cutting edge technologies to UK based innovators with in-country partners, exporting some of the UK’s leading research and technological advances via the following activities:
The project will develop and expand Notpla’s applications of seaweed-based heat sealable film as an alternative to flexible plastic films. The film is compostable and biodegradable on land and sea without human intervention. The film can be formed into single use sachets for a range of applications. In particular, the focus of this project will be on condiment single use sachets. This project will contribute to Targets 1,2 and 3 of The Chilean Plastics Pact.
This project will demonstrate the validity of Interface Polymers’ recycling additive technology in India. Multilayer film which today goes to landfill will be collected, mixed with the additive and demonstrated in high performance film applications, preventing the material from being downcycled and diverting it from landfill/incineration. By upgrading the properties of the waste stream, the material will have value and will be collected for recycling. This project will address India Plastics Pact target 4.
The aim of this project is to investigate the feasibility of coupling the ReVentas technology with an existing Indian milk pouch collection. The project will demonstrate the ability to decontaminate the material with the ReVentas technology to a suitable level such that it can be used in new packaging applications. This project will address India Plastics Pact target 3.
This project aims to develop a smart, technology-led solution to bring formal integration, market and pricing transparency, and fair-trade practices to the Kenyan waste sector and its informal waste collectors by utilising the latest in AI waste-identification and composition analysis. The project will address Kenya Plastics Pact Target 3.
It’s motivating to see the progress Kenya is making towards sustainability, and the vital role we're playing at the Kenya Plastics Pact of initiating tangible actions led by members. These proactive actions are also encouraging businesses that are still largely operating in a linear economy - a model of simple resource extraction and depletion - to fundamentally rethink the way they design, use and reuse materials.
Karin Boomsma, Project Lead, Kenya Plastics Pact.
WasteAid's proposed feasibility study and pilot in Mpumalanga, South Africa, will adopt a whole systems approach and will seek to demonstrate that the plastic loop can be closed through a combination of increasing local collection and processing capacity, developing local/regional end markets, and using behaviour change approaches. This project will address Target 3 of the SA Plastics Pact.
... Not only will we see environmental benefits, but also further local income opportunities for waste pickers in collection and more income opportunities in processing, recycling and manufacturing.
Dr Kirsten Barnes, South African Plastics Pact – Project Lead, GreenCape.