WRAP says its first International Grants competition has awarded funding of £1.2 million to six UK-based companies to work with international partners to tackle plastic-related issues in India, Chile, South Africa, and Kenya.
WRAP says these projects offer practical solutions to help reduce the environmental footprint made by the use of plastics. The organisation continues that the six projects will help transform the plastics system by stopping waste, addressing harmful emissions from new plastic production, and ensuring plastic is kept in the economy and out of the natural environment.
Plastic pollution affects every country on Earth, blighting the lives of many of the poorest people.
Wrap described the International Circular Plastics Flagship Competition as a “game-changing fund” to drive forward international innovation in key regions across the world.
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.
WRAP says the International Circular Plastics Flagship Competition is designed to address the problem of plastics pollution in these key nations. Applicants applied for funding ranging from £50,000 up to £250,000 that demonstrated solutions to specific challenges identified by each Plastics Pact, and which WRAP says will help reduce plastic pollution in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
WRAP says its partnership with UKRI will fund “cutting edge technologies” to UK-based companies with in-country partners.
International Director at WRAP, Dr Richard Swannell, said: “Plastic pollution affects every country on Earth, blighting the lives of many of the poorest people.
“Working with UKRI and in-country partners, and through six innovative UK-based companies, we are funding projects that will focus directly on issues that affect India, Chile, South Africa, and Kenya.
“These projects will address problems head on, and drive action towards delivering the challenging plastic targets of each country’s Plastics Pacts.
We hope intervention on this scale will help bring a more circular economy model of plastic use to each nation, create income opportunities and help improve sustainability in the long-term.”