£1.7m grant to cut plastic pollution across Global South

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have partnered in the launch of a new fund designed to assist plastic waste reduction schemes in India, Chile, Kenya, and South Africa.

Coinciding with science and innovation day at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26), The International Circular Plastics Flagship Projects Competition will see £1.7 million being invested into initiatives that are attempting to tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Each successful applicant will receive funding ranging from £50,000 to £250,000, providing they can demonstrate ways in which the proposed scheme will respond to certain targets within the Plastic Pact of the scheme’s respective nation. The grant will be delivered by WRAP, which has driven the implementation of the Plastic Pact across the globe, on behalf of UKRI.

WRAP UKRI Plastic Pollution FundThe funding will focus on the following four themes: flexible film packs, including small format; reusable packaging and new business models; collection, sorting, cleaning, and recycling; and End Market Development.

The cutoff date for applications is 13 January 2022, with more information available on the WRAP website.

David Rogers, Head of International Programmes at WRAP, commented: “This funding forms a key part of our ongoing work to reduce the impact of plastic pollution across the globe. It will address one of the world’s most urgent and escalating environmental challenges and show how innovation and collaboration can contribute towards systematic change.

“I am pleased to announce the funding during COP26 when nations have come together, as the improvements this fund will make will be felt in many nations. WRAP is proud to have worked on each of the Plastics Pacts, which now means that there is now a Plastics Pact in every populous continent on the planet.”

Paul Davison, Challenge Director for the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge at UKRI, said: “Representatives from dozens of nations have gathered at COP26 at Glasgow this week to try to find solutions for environmental issues that affect the entire planet. One of the most urgent issues is that of plastic pollution.

“UKRI and the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge is in the vanguard of supporting efforts to address this challenge and we are proud to support this vital initiative.”