£1million funding launched to accelerate waste-reduction innovation and research

Environmental compliance scheme Ecosurety will today launch a £1million innovation and research fund for projects that seek to reduce the impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE (electronic waste) on the environment. The fund will be spread across three years with individual grant applications of up to £150,000 being accepted.

The first ever such fund to be launched by a UK compliance scheme, the Ecosurety Exploration Fund will build on Ecosurety’s experience in supporting innovative projects and new technologies across the waste and recycling sector by providing a visible funding route for companies, charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions working on projects addressing the environmental challenges that packaging, batteries or e-waste present.

Successful applications – which will be completed within 12 months of funding being received – will offer measurable impacts and tangible solutions to the problem they set out to tackle.

While Ecosurety recognises that innovation and investment into recycling technologies for packaging, batteries and WEEE is the best direct route to increasing UK recycling capacity, it is also aware of the need for reduction and re-use strategies which can minimise the negative impact these products have on the environment.

On this basis, the Ecosurety Exploration Fund will be open to projects that tackle packaging, battery or electronic waste across the full lifecycle of the products – from production, use and collection through to their end-of-life treatment or reuse.

Applications to the Exploration Fund could therefore include innovative technologies, awareness campaigns, processes, materials, collaborations or research into improving existing behaviours or systems.

Finding new solutions to the old problems associated with waste packaging, batteries and electricals will prove absolutely vital

All entries to the Ecosurety Exploration Fund will be carefully considered before a long-list is compiled by Ecosurety, then judged by a high-profile panel of independent experts from industry, non-governmental organisations and businesses, including Mike Barry, Sustainable Change Maker and former Director of Sustainability at Marks & Spencer, Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP and Libby Peake, Senior Policy Advisor at Green Alliance.
Commenting on the launch of the fund, James Piper, CEO of Ecosurety said, “The launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund is a hugely exciting step for our company. We hope it will provide a vital springboard for projects that offer innovative solutions to the challenges that packaging, batteries and e-waste currently pose to the environment.

Ecosurety remains committed to boosting recycling rates in the UK as well as playing its part in the transition to a circular waste economy. We encourage all organisations with eligible projects to apply to the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and look forward to reviewing the entries.”

Peter Maddox, Director of WRAP UK, said: “The move to a circular economy for packaging, e-waste and batteries requires innovative and bold new thinking. Harnessing new designs, technologies and ideas will ensure that our own recycling infrastructure continues to develop whilst solutions to minimise the wider environmental impacts of these products are also found.

The Ecosurety Exploration Fund will provide a much-needed springboard for pioneering ideas in this sector, and I’m excited to be a part of the panel.”    

Libby Peake, Senior Policy Advisor at Green Alliance commented on her appointment as a judge for the fund: “We are just waking up to the problems caused by our throwaway society in the UK and the inadequacy of our recycling systems. It’s the start of a journey that will hopefully see considerable changes in how we think about and use resources.

“Finding new solutions to the old problems associated with waste packaging, batteries and electricals will prove absolutely vital – and I look forward to seeing what ideas are out there.” 

Applications to the Ecosurety Exploration Fund can be made via the Ecosurety website from Thursday 28th November 2019 atwww.ecosurety.com/impact/exploration-fund where more details on eligibility can be found. Deadline for submission is 11.59pm, Tuesday 10th March 2020. Winners will be announced at a special event in May 2020.

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