Plastic packagingUK registered businesses can apply for a share of £16 million for ambitious demonstrator projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging. The funding, which is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, will support projects that demonstrate innovation at a commercial scale.

This is the Expression of Interest stage, at which there is no funding. Successful applicants will receive an invite to proceed to stage 2 and submit a full-stage application.


Firstly, your proposal should address widely known problems in relation to plastic packaging for consumer products. It must also include significant industry investment. Innovate UK is particularly interested in projects which address the UK Plastic Pact targets by demonstrating at scale:

  • minimised or reduced plastic packaging
  • refillable packaging and systems
  • sustainable solutions for film and flexibles
  • food grade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene
  • behaviour change leading to less packaging waste or higher recycling rates
  • solutions for problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging items

Grants of between £1 million and £12 million are available for large-scale commercial demonstration projects. All projects must last between 12 and 36 months, starting by 1st February 2022 and ending by 31st January 2025.

The project lead must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be a UK registered business of any size
  • Collaborate with another UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology institution
  • Carry out its project work in the UK and also intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Expressions of interest are due by 24th March and successful applicants will then be notified by 30th April. You can find more information on the Innovate UK competition page: ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Demonstrators. To discuss an application with one of our advisers, please contact us today.