£1.5 million refillable packaging competition launched by UKRI

On 12th September, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) unveiled a £1.5 million refillable packaging competition for liquid foods and beverages. This competition, an initiative of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge managed by Innovate UK, aims to encourage retailers, brands, and consumers to embrace reusable and refillable packaging. Entrants are required to showcase in-store refill systems for popular liquid products, such as dairy and non-dairy milks, juices, and soft drinks. Each proposal must be endorsed by a major retail chain or brand and undergo in-store testing in a minimum of five stores for six months. The competition will conclude on 25th October 2023, with comprehensive details available online.

Paul Davidson, the SSPP Challenge Director, emphasised the urgency of adopting reuse and refill methods to diminish the reliance on single-use plastic packaging. He expressed the competition’s aim to discover innovative solutions that can mainstream refill options for everyday liquids like milk and soft drinks. By making refilling straightforward, convenient, and economical for all stakeholders, including consumers and retailers, the challenge intends to foster significant change. The broader SSPP Challenge, supported by a £60 million fund, represents the UK government’s most substantial commitment yet towards developing eco-friendly plastic packaging, with refillability as a primary objective.