Cash available to reduce packaging waste

Packaging accounts for a sizeable chunk of the rubbish that ends up in our household bins and now grants are available to organisations which can show they are able to put a dent in this waste mountain.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has announced it will be subsidising a series of forward-thinking schemes to the tune of £3.8m.

The funding falls under WRAP’s Waste Minimisation Innovation Fund, which over the past two years has offered £4.2m to support a wide variety of schemes.

Potential projects need to demonstrate that they can reduce packaging waste by taking an innovative approach.

This could involve anything from the development of a lightweight container, reusable, refillable or returnable packaging, innovation in secondary packaging design or even ideas to reduce packaging waste arising from home delivery and internet shopping.

WRAP’s project manager, Claire Hingston, said: “As much as fifty per cent of household packaging waste originates from purchases at the UK’s top five supermarket chains.

“By supporting packaging optimisation schemes across the retail supply chain, we can help the sector develop vital knowledge and expertise which will improve resource efficiency and help to reduce waste.

“This latest round of funding is available to support a wide range of activities, from concept development, design and laboratory testing to consumer research, prototyping and piloting. Ultimately, the idea must have a clear route to market and have potential to significantly reduce UK household packaging waste.”

The funding opportunity is open to the whole of the retail supply chain, including retailers, designers, manufacturers, brand owners and research institutes.

However, WRAP is particularly keen to hear from project teams working in beverages in cans or cartons, frozen and chilled ready meals, pet foods, jams, preserves, pastes, condiments and sauces, DIY and home improvement, household and personal aerosols, personal hygiene products and cosmetics, crisps, snacks and biscuits, raw, cooked and processed meats and fresh produce.

Successful applicants for previous rounds of funding have included household names like Coca-Cola, Argos, Asda, Tesco, Heinz, Coors, Co-op, B&Q, Marks & Spencer, Northern Foods and Iceland.

Submissions must be received by January 31, 2007, with projects anticipated to begin on April 1st 2007. More information is available on the WRAP website.

Sam Bond

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