ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £7 million for R&D projects with the potential to significantly impact the 2025 UK Plastic Pact targets and address widely known problems related to plastic packaging for consumer products. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Interested? Feel free to contact us!


Competition closes: 08 September 2021, 11am

Applicants notified: 01 October 2021 (invite to interview); 25 October

Project start date & duration: from January 2022, between 12 and 36 months


  • Your project must primarily address one or more of the UK Plastic Pact Targets
  • Your new approach must be quantified in terms of the Pact targets and by comparison to the current system or dominant solutions.
  • Any environmental impacts must be described and justified.

Specific Themes

  • the minimising or reduction of plastic packaging
  • packaging suitable for reuse, refill and online delivery
  • 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

This list is not intended to be exhaustive; ambitious projects are sought.

Projects that will not be funded

  • are detrimental to the environment compared with existing solutions
  • 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 appropriate organic waste treatment) 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
  • are dependent on export performance or are dependent


  • Subsidy Control funding rules apply
  • Project must be led by a UK business of any size and collaborators must be UK based organisations
  • R&D work must be carried out in the UK and project results exploited from UK.
  • Subcontractors can be from UK/overseas, with costs justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.

Funding Rates

  • Total eligible project costs between £200,000 and £4M (£7M pot).
  • Funding rates are dependent on company size and project maturity as follows:

Industrial research (TRL 3-5)

  • Micro/small business <70%
  • Medium sized business <60%
  • Large business <50%

Experimental development (TRL 6-7) 

    • Micro/small business <45%
    • Medium sized business <35%
    • Large business <25%
  • Research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs.


Contact us for further information

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