£500k boost for UK recycling as Ecosurety Exploration Fund winners announced

Four UK-based innovation and research projects that have demonstrated practical and impactful recycling and reuse solutions have received a total of £500,000 from the Ecosurety Exploration Fund.

The projects, which challenge a diverse range of issues, were chosen for their creativeness, viability and the potential to make a long-term difference in the industry.

London flats recycling facilitiesSuccessful projects will work to tackle issues such as the recyclability of post-consumer plastic film, the high level of electricals going to landfill, the limited amounts of recycling in urban housing estates and technology for the lithium-ion battery recycling sector.

Among the winning Ecosurety Exploration Fund projects for 2020 are: Fit for Reuse (initiative that provides repaired electrical items to those living in poverty), BOSS 2D (technology that recycles post-consumer plastic film packaging, allowing it to be made into new products) and CellMine (research into the recovery of rare earth materials from in lithium ion batteries). The London Waste and Recycling Board are also running a trial that examines recycling in London housing estates.

The shortlisters were assessed by a panel of 10 independent experts from industry and non-governmental organisations and businesses, including Mike Barry, former Director of Sustainability at Marks and Spencer, and Libby Peake, Senior Policy Advisor at Green Alliance.

Commenting on the successful entries, Mike Barry said: “We need to create a circular economy urgently, but we lack many of the practical technologies, standards and behaviour changes to make it happen. The rigorous judging process of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund has helped us to identify innovators who could be real game-changers in developing and scaling the solutions we need.”

James Piper, CEO of Ecosurety added: “Our vision when we set up the Ecosurety Exploration Fund was to provide a vital springboard for projects that offer truly viable and innovative solutions to the challenges that packaging, batteries and e-waste currently pose to the environment.

“Not only were we bowled over by the high calibre of entries, we were hugely encouraged to see such a diverse and exciting range of ideas. We would like to thank everyone for submitting their funding applications in what I know has been a particularly challenging year.”

The Ecosurety Exploration Fund was launched in November 2019 with the goal of providing a visible funding route for companies, charities, not-for-profits, academic institutions and the public sector working on projects that combat environmental obstacles presented by packaging, batteries or e-waste.

This is the first of three rounds of funding to be distributed. Each year funding of up to £150,000 can be applied for by projects, which are completed over a 12-month period. Details of the second Ecosurety Exploration Funding round will be released early next year.