£100k funding boost for small businesses to reduce waste

Over £240,000 of funding already awarded to support innovative new projects.

6 Aug 12

A call for new ways to reduce product and packaging waste in supply chains went out today, as a new £100k support fund was launched by Zero Waste Scotland.

The fund, which encourages environmental innovation, is open to Scottish SMEs wishing to pilot, trial or develop ideas in product, service and packaging design which will significantly impact on waste reduction and help reduce the harmful greenhouse gases that damage the environment. 

The call for applicants is launched as the Scottish projects which successfully secured over £240,000 of earlier innovation funding, through Zero Waste Scotland, are announced.  

These projects, at the forefront of helping Scotland achieve its ambitious zero waste targets, includes

  • Celtic Renewables is developing a patented fermentation technology to produce biobutanol, an advanced biofuel which can be used as a sustainable and direct replacement for petrol.   This project will initially focus on the malt whisky industry as a source of feedstock for the fermentation process in a bid to create a new industry.
  • UWI Technology is market testing a smart label on selected food and drink products which will display the elapsed time from first opening of the product, the key aim being to bring about a reduction in the amount of consumer food waste. 
  • Codbod is creating a cloud based service to enable businesses to increase competitive advantage by managing environmental data on waste, water, emissions and energy, providing instant reports which identify efficiencies and cost savings. 
  • Albagaia is testing an innovative treatment technology to remove chemicals from spent caustic, thereby reducing the amount of waste to be disposed of, reducing overall energy usage and allowing the cleaned caustic to be potentially reused.

UWI Technology, CodBod and Albagaia received funding through the SME Waste Prevention fund while Celtic Renewables has benefited from the Recycling Innovation fund, which remains open for applications until 30 September.   

Forecasts suggest that future innovation and technology developments could be worth an additional £8.4 billion to Scotland’s low carbon industries by 2015 and create up to 100,000 jobs.

Richard Lochhead, Environment Secretary said:

"This innovation fund will support Scottish SMEs by helping them use their resources as efficiently as possible and reducing the environmental impact. The Scottish Government's zero waste plan aims to reduce the amount of waste produced, ensure that more packaging and products can be recycled and contain as much recycled content as possible. This fund will help us build on the innovative approaches already being taken by Scottish businesses in this area."

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland said:

“We’re delighted to launch this SME Waste Prevention Innovation fund and champion the successes of those who have already accessed funding to develop their highly innovative projects.

“These projects provide ground breaking solutions focused on reducing waste and recovering materials which otherwise would end up making their way to landfill sites.

“Working with the SME community to develop innovations focussed on waste reduction is absolutely integral to achieving Scotland’s zero waste ambitions and strengthening the Scottish economy and we’re increasingly seeing examples of best practice in relation to the way SME’s are dealing with waste.  Not only does this hugely benefit the environment, but it can provide substantial cost savings if efficiently managed. ”

Mark Simmers, CEO of Celtic Renewables, said:

“Celtic Renewables are committed to helping the Scottish Government achieve its world-leading renewable energy targets, and the support from Zero Waste Scotland is crucial in enabling us to commercialise the technology and processes to make renewable transport fuel and other products from organic residues to that aim.”

Pete Higgins, Founder and CEO of UWI Technology, said:

“The timing of the Zero Waste Scotland funding could not have been better as we endeavour to develop our UWI Label for commercialisation. This pilot study will give direct feedback from consumers, which in turn allow us to validate the label’s potential and assist with its ultimate adoption by food manufacturers and supermarkets as a positive solution to reduce consumer wastage.”

Michael Groves from CodBod, the organisation behind the online environmental data management and reporting tool for SME’s said:

“The Innovation Grant from Zero Waste Scotland was crucial to our ability to create and undertake the pilot project.  As a result we have a much greater understanding of the environmental challenges facing small and medium sized companies.  In particular we have seen the need to measure environmental metrics such as waste and water use in order to meet the demands from customers or parent companies.”

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