Find out more about the Smart Sustainable plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge, a £60 million fund to support academic-led research to address known problems and to support industry-led collaborative research and development of new technologies, matched by £149 million from industry.

The challenge aims to:

– tackle the environmental impact of plastic packaging through the development of a more sustainable plastic packaging supply chain in the UK

– drive research and innovation to develop more sustainable plastic packaging materials and designs, and enable new recycling processes and infrastructure

– encourage collaboration and innovation in integrated circular supply chains using insights into consumer behaviour to reduce the environmental impacts of plastic packaging.


The fund runs until 2025,  which will develop a new generation of advanced and sustainable plastic packaging to reduce single-use plastics, increase recyclability and the amount of plastic packaging that is recycled and ultimately reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the environment.


With over £30 million funding already awarded to date, the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge programme is supporting projects to drive major changes around plastic packaging reduction, re-use and recycling. From major infrastructure demonstrator projects to increase the UK’s recycling capacity through to collaborative research between academia and industry on specific barriers to behaviour change, the programme represents the largest ever UK government investment in sustainable plastics research and innovation. Read more about the Challenge and the funded projects in the SSPP 2021 Review.


RECORDING Tuesday 2nd March: Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Funding Launch | 09:30 – 12:30

Join the UKRI Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging team as they announce the winners of the Demonstrator and Business-led R&D competitions. You can now watch back the recording from the event here:


Plastic Packaging Innovations Receive £30 million Boost from UKRI

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge has announced £30 million in funding for 18 groundbreaking collaborative projects that support the achievement of the UK Plastics Pact and have the potential to alter the UK’s relationship with, and management of, plastic packaging.

Read more


Challenge Director Dr Paul Davidson outlines some of the drivers and barriers to developing a more sustainable packaging supply chain in his latest blog and you can watch our interview with Paul below on the work of the SSPP below:


Dr. Paul Davidson also wrote a blog on Making Plastic Packaging Sustainable, which provides an overview of the role of the SSPP team. Read this here.


The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge Team have released three case studies on ReNew ELP, Recycling by Design, and Reath. Find out more here.


FlexCollect: The £2.9m Flexible Plastic Fund FlexCollect project is the most extensive pilot for household collection and recycling of flexible plastic packaging ever undertaken in the UK. It is supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Find out more here


SSPP had its own dedicated conference at Global Research & Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) 2022, taking place 15th – 17th March, which you can find out more about here.


Find out more about SSPP here

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