Recycleye wins £3.2m from UK Research and Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge; award will help fund plastic recycling innovation

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April 3, 2023 (press release) –


We are pleased to announce that Recycleye has won the UK Research and Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge, the largest and most ambitious UK government investment to date in sustainable plastics research and innovation.

The SSPP Challenge is working to make plastic packaging fit for a sustainable future. As a £60 million five-year programme. It reflects the urgent need for action to reduce the environmental footprint of plastics and eradicate plastic pollution. Recycleye’s Project GRIP-R is one of 17 ground-breaking projects that will receive a part of the £3.2 million funding for 2023.

SSPP’s Future Plastic Packaging Solutions competition supported a range of innovation projects, encouraging consumers to move towards refill and reuse, biodegradable bio-based materials and plastic pollution mapping as we work towards a collective mission of zero waste.

Recycleye is one of only six funding winners whose focus is on enhancing the UK’s plastics recycling and stimulating the use of recycled plastics, with Project GRIP-R (Gripper Innovation for the Picking of Recyclables) enhancing our sorting capabilities.

The project handles the enhancement of the gripping function of Recycleye Robotics, to handle the growing issue of contamination caused by films and flexible plastic packaging. The project builds on our innovative cost-effective, AI-powered system and advanced robotics technology to design an even more effective sorting capability, delivering high quality recycled plastic streams and increasing the waste industry’s ability to handle films and flexible packaging.


Paul Davidson, Challenge Director for UKRI’s SSPP Challenge, said:

“SSPP is working to make plastic packaging fit for a sustainable future, supporting over 70 research and innovation projects focused on consumer plastic packaging. Taken together, these latest SSPP-funded projects offer up exciting opportunities to tackle plastic packaging waste holistically by reducing it at source, encouraging the rollout of reuse and refill business models, and driving more effective and sophisticated recycling and pollution monitoring and measuring.”


Isabelle Beltrao, Head of Partnerships at Recycleye, added:

“We’re thrilled to have been selected for funding for this important project by UKRI. We believe there’s no such thing as waste, just valuable materials in the wrong place – and we’re looking forward to showing this, working alongside the 16 other ground-breaking projects from the challenge.”


Interested to find out how we could help your MRF sort plastics with AI-powered robotics? Get in touch today!

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