SSPP Future Plastic Packaging Solutions Round 2

UK registered businesses and organisations can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for early-stage and mid-stage projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging.

Opportunity Details


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Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £30,000 and £250,000. This can cover up to 70% of your project costs.


Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £2.5 million from the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme for early-stage and mid- stage projects.

This funding is from the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge which aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products. Its goals are to deliver cleaner growth across the supply chain, with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025.

Your project must aim to:

  • help make the plastics packaging supply chain more circular
  • deliver the objectives of the UK Plastics Pact, creating a circular economy for plastics, keeping them in the economy and out of the natural environment
  • embed life cycle thinking and end of life in packaging design and decisions

Your project must:

  • demonstrate how it supports the objectives of the plastics pact and delivers systemic change
  • clearly explain how you will reduce the UK plastic packaging system’s overall environmental impact

Your project must contribute to meeting the SSPP Challenge objectives, but we will fund projects that do not seek direct commercial output or financial value. Beneficial information and outputs delivered by such projects must be made freely available to UK stakeholders.

Your project must:

  • have a grant funding request between £30,000 and £250,000
  • start by 1 April 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last up to 24 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

If the lead organisation is an RTO it must collaborate with 2 businesses (one SME, and one business of any size).

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

businessresearch and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.


The aim of this competition is to support feasibility studies, industrial research and experimental development, that addresses widely known problems in relation to plastic packaging for consumer products.

You must explain how you are innovating to address one or more of the UK Plastics Pact targets or overall objective of keeping plastic packaging out of the natural environment. The benefits of your new approach must be quantified in terms of the UK Plastic Pact targets where possible. Any environmental impacts must be described and justified.

Innovate UK will fund projects with either direct or indirect commercial outcomes for the partners.

For example, a project to improve understanding where the outputs would be made freely available would be in scope.

Your project must deliver a more circular plastic packaging value chain, with reduced environmental impacts, such as:

  • carbon emissions
  • improved recyclability

You must consider the likely environmental impacts to:

  • humans
  • wildlife and
  • the broader environment

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • the prevention, mitigation or measurement of plastic packaging litter polluting the environment
  • facilitating and scaling the adoption of reuse, refill and prefill packaging systems
  • chemical recycling approaches for PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) packaging

We are not funding projects that:

  • encourage or facilitate the export of plastic packaging whilst still classified as waste
  • are primarily concerned with the production of any kind of fuel or direct energy generation from plastic waste
  • develop materials or packaging which will not have commercially available and viable UK recycling or biodegradation infrastructure in place by 2025
  • relate to the recycling of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polystyrene, including expanded polystyrene (EPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS)
  • do not focus on packaging for consumer products

An online briefing event was held on 7th September: click here to view the recording.


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