Compliance scheme Ecosurety has awarded a total of £500,000 to four UK-based innovation and research projects offering “practical and impactful recycling and reuse solutions”.
The Ecosurety Exploration Fund was launched in November 2019 to provide funding for companies, charities, not-for-profits, academic institutions and the public sector working on projects addressing the environmental challenges presented by packaging, batteries or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). It is to offer a total of £1 million across three years.
James Piper, CEO of Ecosurety, said: “Not only were we were bowled over by the high calibre of entries, we were hugely encouraged to see such a diverse and exciting range of ideas. We would like to thank everyone for submitting their funding applications in what I know has been a particularly challenging year.”
The winning applications were submitted by Fit for Reuse (Bristol), BOSS 2D, CellMine and a project looking to maximise recycling in purpose-built flats run by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB). More information about the projects can be seen below.
The funding represents the first of three rounds to be awarded by Ecosurety. Projects which can be completed over a 12-month period can apply for funding of up to £150,000 each year. Details of the second Ecosurety Exploration Funding round will be provided in early 2021.
“We were bowled over by the high calibre of entries”
Shortlisted applications were judged by a panel of 10 independent experts from industry and non-governmental organisations and businesses, including Mike Barry, strategic sustainability expert and former director of sustainability at Marks & Spencer, Libby Peake, senior policy advisor at Green Alliance, and Alison Bramfitt, group packaging manager at Nestlé.
Fit for Reuse (Bristol)
Charitable organisation the Reuse Network seeks to reduce poverty and tackle the environmental impact of waste by extending the lifespan of electricals and promoting them up the waste hierarchy to reuse, as opposed to landfill or recycling.
The Bristol-based ‘Fit for Reuse’ project is designed to enable the Reuse Network to develop comprehensive and up-to-date guidance for electrical equipment reuse. The guidance will promote the reuse of products in line with aims of the WEEE and Waste Framework Directives, enabling reuse activities to be run in a “compliant and efficient manner”. In doing so the Reuse Network hopes to alleviate poverty.
Set up by plastic recyclers Impact Recycling, BOSS 2D aims to accelerate flexible plastic film recycling.
The funded project will build on laboratory scale-testing of a new design for the BOSS 2D technology for plastic film. The technology looks to separate post-consumer plastic packaging film into pure streams of material type to boost its recyclability, with the first technical goal of removing laminated and multilayer film from ‘prime’ polyolefin film.
CellMine is a lithium-ion battery recycling process set up by Impact Solutions. The CellMine project will enable Impact Solutions to explore a new recycling process which can be used to selectively recover rare earth metals used in lithium-ion batteries, including lithium, cobalt and manganese.
Impact Solutions says the process uses a novel, “environmentally friendly” solvent and promises to be low energy, cheap and sustainable.
Recycling in purpose-built flats
LWARB is a partnership between the Mayor of London and the London boroughs. It aims to improve waste and resource management in the capital. Despite purpose-built flats making up 37% of London’s residential accommodation, the capture of dry mixed recycling is very poor.
The funding will enable LWARB to trial a series of “interventions” and facilities across four estates in London. These will help maximise the capture and quality of dry mixed recycling, as well as other materials which have high embedded carbon values such as food, textiles and WEEE. The findings of this research will be disseminated to all local authorities and housing providers to help them implement any recommended changes.