KTN announces launch of UK Circular Plastics Network, with further details of the Ocean Plastic Solutions Investment Accelerator
Supported by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the aim of the UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) is to bring together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best outcomes for eliminating plastic waste through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events and related support activities.
The Circular Plastics Network will create a coordinated, integrated and aligned community of stakeholders in order to share best practice, focused on unlocking the most critical, short-term barriers to plastics circularity. It is envisaged that by the end of 2019 UKCPN will count 1000 companies as its members.
UKCPN will facilitate the following:
• Reducing the volume of plastic waste arising from within the UK.
• Raising awareness and sharing best practice to improve the rate of UK plastic recycling.
• Sharing best practice to reduce levels of confusion amongst citizens and highlighting user-centred design.
• Showcasing innovation that is focused on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.
UKCPN will improve the country’s relationship with plastic, helping to reduce some of the 2.5 million tonnes of waste plastic which is currently not recycled in the UK. This two-year programme brings together those with solutions to the problem and facilitates circular supply chain engagement with those solutions. More than 12 events will be undertaken throughout the UK over the next two years, while there will also be a website for the community to interact with one another. As well as this, a directory of companies relevant to this sector will be produced and encompassed in a larger landscape map accessible to all of the UK Circular Plastic members.
Leading the project, Dr Sally Beken, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Polymers at KTN explains: “I feel passionate about this activity. We are dealing with a complex multifaceted problem where businesses, academia and individuals are all stakeholders. By bringing together the solution providers with the current plastic supply chain we can work together to find the best way forward. The UK Circular Plastics Network will facilitate changes we need to be resource efficient and preserve our planet for future generations.”
The network forms part of the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF), which is engaging Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics. PRIF is managed by UKRI and delivered via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, with strategic oversight from Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Duncan Wingham said: “The Plastics Research Innovation Fund will lead the way in finding new solutions to our current use of plastics, through recycling methods and developing alternative materials. UKRI is drawing UK researchers together with companies to address the challenge of reducing plastic waste entering the environment and creating an economy that is free from plastic waste.”
Ocean Plastic Solutions Investment Accelerator Competition:
This competition invites UK companies to develop solutions to tackle the environmental crisis of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. It provides £1 million grant funding from Innovate UK and £1 million private investment from Sky Ocean Ventures for early stage projects to support new scientific or technological innovation to reduce plastics waste and deliver a more circular economy approach to plastic use.
The launch of UKCPN coincides with the KTN-hosted Ocean Plastics Accelerator Competition Briefing event which took place today on Thursday 10th January at Sky’s Headquarters in London. The briefing event showcased the collaboration between Innovate UK and Sky with the opening of the competition.