- The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products is one of three organisations that has secured £334k of funding from the second round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, providing a much-needed boost to the UK reuse and recycling sectors.
- The funded projects will reduce avoidable packaging waste in the construction sector, enable access to electrical repair and reuse for rural communities, and prevent landfilling of food contaminated plastic packaging.
- Applications were judged by an independent panel of high-profile leaders from across the UK’s sustainability sector.
ASBP’s project, titled “ZAP – Zero Avoidable Packaging waste in construction” is one of three UK-based innovation and research projects offering vital and impactful solutions to the reuse and recycling sectors. The projects have been awarded a total of £334,000 by the second round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, helping to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The projects were each selected for their originality, viability and potential long-term wider impact.
Offering a total of £1million since its launch in 2019, the second and final round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund kicked off with a call for entries in June 2021. It is the only such funding opportunity to be provided by a UK compliance scheme and builds on Ecosurety’s established experience in supporting innovative projects and new technologies across the waste and recycling sector.
Shortlisted applications to the Fund were judged by a high-profile panel of ten independent experts from business and non-governmental organisations, including Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF UK; Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society at UCL; Margaret Bates, Executive Director of OPRL; and Michelle Norman, Director of External Affairs and Sustainability, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and GB&I.
ZAP – Zero Avoidable Packaging waste in construction
The problem: There is little recent, substantive data and a lack of holistic understanding of the various packaging types that are used for the array of products that enter a construction site and its management both on and offsite. Construction as a sector is the second-highest consumer of plastics.
The solution: The ZAP project will research and develop scalable solutions to help combat the prevalence of avoidable packaging waste in construction, much of which is not recycled. Working with project partners, Cullinan Studio, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Mace and Morgan Sindall, the funded project will link with real-world construction projects to build case studies and offer training and guidance that will demonstrate the positive actions the whole supply chain and sector can do, helping many organisations reach zero avoidable waste.
Simon Corbey, Director at ASBP commented:
“We’re delighted this project has been funded, as it will enable much-needed granularity of data for construction packaging, plus pathways for its reduction, which will be of real interest to government and the supply chain alike.”
Commenting on the successful entries, independent judge Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at WWF UK said
“It was a privilege to be a judge on the Ecosurety Exploration Fund this year and the high standard of entries made it a very tough decision. Congratulations to the successful applicants who all demonstrated remarkable ambition to address unsustainable resource consumption and find meaningful ways to accelerate progress towards a circular economy.”
“Opportunities like this allow us to explore ideas that lead to greater collective action and better outcomes for people and planet, and – given the scale of the climate and nature crisis – this is critical.”
Meanwhile, independent judge Michelle Norman from Suntory Beverage & Food Europe and GB&I said
“Judging the Ecosurety Exploration Fund was an inspirational experience. All the entrants showed true entrepreneurial spirit supported with robust data and insights, and clearly demonstrated how they would turn their plan into tangible and measurable outcomes.”
“Funding for the winning projects will be instrumental in furthering our knowledge and insight of how to solve some of the UK’s most complex sustainability issues and I can’t wait to see the results.”
Commenting on the winning projects, Will Ghali, CEO of Ecosurety said “The Ecosurety Exploration Fund has proven to be a vital launchpad for innovative projects that offer real solutions to some of the key problems we face today, with astounding results achieved by the first round of projects we funded.”
“As before, the second round attracted a diverse and inspiring range of standout projects which made the job of the independent judges very tricky indeed. We look forward to seeing the three winning projects accelerate us towards a more sustainable future and we would like to extend our appreciation to everyone who either took the time to enter or helped us select the most promising projects to fund.”
The further Ecosurety Exploration Fund winners
Somerset Repair Bus – Empowering and connecting rural communities through reuse and repair
Aiming to take repair and reuse from a niche to a norm for rural communities, this project, led by Resource Futures in collaboration with Somerset Waste Partnership and Donate-IT, features a touring electronics skill-share and collection facility to promote sustainable electronic and electrical equipment consumption. Travelling throughout Somerset, it will help to coordinate, facilitate and raise awareness of electrical repair and reuse across rural communities. Not only will it raise the standard and visibility of these activities across the region, but it will also create and share a blueprint of best practices for other regions to follow.
RE:Solve – Recycling plastic packaging contaminated with residual food waste
Large quantities of packaged food wastes are used as feedstock for renewable energy production via anaerobic digestion. The packaging is separated from the food waste during processing but ends up heavily contaminated with food waste residues. There is potential to optimise this process by cleaning the packaging, making it attractive to recycle, with the additional benefit of capturing the residual food waste which enhances renewable energy production. South West College in Northern Ireland is leading research into a novel process to efficiently remove the food waste from plastic packaging without using large quantities of water. Once separated, the aim is for both the food and the plastic to be effectively treated and recycled. The funding will enable them to achieve proof of concept with a prototype plant that will enable the process to be scaled up commercially.
About the Ecosurety Exploration Fund
The £1m Ecosurety Exploration Fund was first launched in November 2019 with a view to providing a visible funding route for companies, charities, not-for-profits, academic institutions and the public sector working on projects addressing the environmental challenges presented by packaging, batteries or e-waste. Applicants could apply for up to £150k for projects that could be completed over a 12-month period. The fund has now completed and has supported seven projects in total, with some recently reaching fruition including the innovative CellMine and BOSS 2D technologies.
For more details visit https://www.ecosurety.com