The UK Government has announced a funding of £60m to lead the world in development of sustainable packaging and reduce the impact of harmful plastics on the environment.
The funding will be used to turn household food scraps into environmentally-friendly plastic bags and cups.
The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will provide the funding via Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund with industry support.
The funding can be used for the development of new forms of packaging and plastic, including products from farming, food and industrial waste such as sugar beet, wood chippings and food waste.
Businesses can avail funding through UKRI managed competitions for the development of smart sustainable plastic packaging solutions.
The funding could help in moving away from oil-based plastics to new forms of packaging and plastic, made from farming, food and industrial waste such as sugar beet, wood chippings and food waste.
The funding will also be provided for the development of smart packaging labels and smart bins, which tell consumers the exact bin to put recycling into.
The government said smart labels on packaging may end confusion over what rubbish goes in which recycling bin and sustainable packaging with a living sell-by-date, which deteriorates at the same rate as produce to show consumers when their food is going off to reduce food waste
The government has also announced a strategy to support bioeconomy. The strategy could help derive standards for bio-based and biodegradable plastic for developing new sustainable materials and reducing the impact of plastics on the environment.
UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “Finding innovative solutions to tackle our use of harmful plastics which blight our land and seas is a major global challenge, and opportunity – one our nation of researchers and innovators is fit to seize.
“Today’s funding and sector strategy enhances our position as a global leader on improving our environment and tackling climate change.
“It will make us a beacon for design, manufacturing and exporting of sustainable plastics and environmentally-friendly replacements for polluting products as we move to a greener, cleaner economy – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”
The government is already implementing various measures to control plastic pollution, including ban on microbeads and 5p charge on single-use plastic bags.
Earlier this year, the government also announced plans to ban the distribution and sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds to reduce pollution in the rivers and seas.
As part of the resources and waste strategy, the government is also planning to implement measures to reduce avoidable waste and increase recycling.