The Ecosurety Exploration Fund

We are investing £1million in projects that aim to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research in the UK.

Making a meaningful impact on the environment

Over three years the Ecosurety Exploration Fund will invest £1million in projects that can reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research in the UK. We are looking to support ideas up to £150,000 that will go on to make a bigger impact beyond the initially funded project - especially those that may ordinarily struggle to get off the ground. Find out more about the winners of the first round in 2020 below. The second round will open for submissions in 2021.

The 2020 Ecosurety Exploration Fund winners

Four winning projects collectively benefited from a £500k boost to UK recycling and reuse in 2020 through the first round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, helping to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries and WEEE. Find out more about the winning projects by clicking 'Show more'.

Fit for reuse

Alleviating poverty through electricals reuse.

The Fit for reuse project will help tackle the growing mountain of old or unused electricals being recycled or landfilled, providing more high quality, repaired electrical goods to the people that really need them.

Led by the Reuse Network, this project is set to move significantly more EEE up the waste hierarchy.

Find out more




Accelerating flexible plastic film recycling.

Led by Impact Recycling, the BOSS 2D project is building on proven innovation used to sort rigid plastics, to vastly improve the recycling of flexible plastic film.

If the vast array of flexible plastic film types used as packaging wrappers can be accurately and efficiently sorted into uncontaminated, material specific waste streams, they can be recycled instead of incinerated.

BOSS 2D will enable that to happen for the first time.

Find out more



Maximising recycling from purpose-built flats

The Maximising recycling from purpose-built flats project is working to address an age-old problem - how to increase capture and quality of recyclable materials from households that don't have standard kerbside collections.

Led by ReLondon (formerly the London Waste and Recycling Board), this project will trial new interventions and infrastructure with the results and key learnings shared widely to they can be easily replicated.

Find out more




Closing the loop on lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion battery technology is likely to be the keystone in moving our society to a greener, more sustainable future.

However, without effective and environmentally friendly recycling technology in place, we are fast approaching a significant problem due to the scarcity of raw materials and destructive mining techniques.

Led by Impact Solutions, CellMine could prove to be the Holy Grail solution.

Find out more

The independent judging panel

The entries were rigorously assessed with the winners selected by some of the preeminent minds working in the industry today, including major producers and independent industry experts. Find out more here about our independent panel from the first round in 2020, including interviews with some of the judges.
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A rigorous judging process

The entries of the first round in 2020 were judged by an esteemed panel comprised of 10 independent industry experts.

Judging is a rigorous two-stage process, including an initial assessment by Ecosurety to determine a shortlist, followed by a judging day where entries are discussed and evaluated by our independent panel in detail to decide the final winners. 

Here are just some of our judges from the first round in 2020:

Libby Peake

Senior Policy Advisor at Green Alliance

Libby joined Green Alliance in 2017 as Senior Policy Advisor, an independent think tank and charity focused on ambitious leadership for the environment.

She previously spent nearly ten years as an editor at Resource Media, an environmental publishing and communications company aiming to lead discussions around sustainability and resource use. She edited the company’s flagship magazine, Resource, as well as overseeing the company’s daily news site. 

"I’d like to see solutions that genuinely target reduction, the neglected first of the three Rs. That could include new delivery models for food and consumer goods to minimise the amount of resources needed. It could also include better design for electronics so that people don’t feel compelled to buy and throw away so many gadgets."

Read our full interview with Libby Peake to find out what she hopes to see coming through the Ecosurety Exploration Fund.



 Mike Barry


Mike Barry

Sustainable change maker and former Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A) at Marks and Spencer

Mike is a charismatic and well respected sustainability leader who led the Marks & Spencer Plan A sustainable strategy.

A passionate believer that we need a fundamentally different way to do business, one that's good for customers, colleagues, citizens, communities, society and planet alike, but equally passionate that this change won't just happen because we want it to happen, we must make it so.

"Not enough of innovation is customer-centric enough. Too many shiny, technical baubles but what’s going to make a busy, hard-pressed person change their engrained behaviour of the last couple of decades? Circular packaging and electronics has got lots of ideas but we’ve got to make them feel as beneficial to the user as the planet."

Read our full interview with Mike Barry to find out what he hopes to see coming through the Ecosurety Exploration Fund.

Janet Gunter

Co-founder and Outreach Lead at the Restart Project

Janet Gunter is co-founder and Outreach Lead at the Restart Project, a London-based social enterprise that aims to “fix our relationship with electronics”. The Restart Project was born in 2013 out of a frustration with the throwaway, consumerist model of electronics that we’ve been sold, and the growing mountain of e-waste that it’s leaving behind. By bringing people together to share skills and gain the confidence to open up their stuff, the Restart Project gives people a hands-on way of making a difference, as well as a way to talk about the wider issue of what kind of products we want.

She is an American/British activist, anthropologist and specialist in social innovation and communications, who has lived and worked in Brazil, East Timor, Portugal and Mozambique.

"We need to start with changes that make our lives better, and build on those. One example: enabling repair and reuse that connects people and increases their sense of well-being. Don’t be afraid to be radical. And definitely do not forget about people, everything starts and ends with them."

Read our full interview with Janet Gunter to find out what she hopes to see coming through the Ecosurety Exploration Fund.


Janet Gunter The Restart Project


Tim Cooper

Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University

Since 2010 Tim Cooper has been Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University. Tim is academic lead for the university’s Sustainable Futures strategic research theme and a member of the University Research Committee.

He specialises in research on product lifetimes and leads two research groups, Sustainable Consumption and Clothing Sustainability. Tim initiated the biennial PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) conferences and is editor of Longer Lasting Products (Routledge 2010).

Paul Franey

Senior manager, Repair and End of Life for UK and IE at Virgin Media

Paul has spent over 12 years championing sustainability in the supply chain and logistics industry and is an experienced senior manager in repair and resource management solutions for both Virgin Media and Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company.

Paul works hard to advocate a circular economy approach to product life cycle and ethical supply chain operations.


When can you apply?

The first round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund closed to submissions on 28 August 2020 and the winning projects were announced on 4 December 2020. Entry submissions for the second round will open in 2021, the exact date and process will be confirmed soon on this page.
“We are just waking up to the problems caused by our throwaway society in the UK and the inadequacy of our recycling systems. Finding new solutions to the old problems associated with waste packaging, batteries and electricals will prove absolutely vital.” Judging panel member Libby Peake Photo Judging panel member Libby Peake Senior policy advisor, Green Alliance

Any questions?

If you would like to know more about any aspect of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, our team will be more than happy to help you. Please send us an email by clicking the button below or call us on 0333 4330 370.
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"Ecosurety remains committed to supporting the UK recycling and innovation sector through strategic investment. It is only by supporting projects like these will we find viable and tangible solutions to some of the most pressing issues around waste, resource use and material scarcity." James Piper Photo James Piper CEO, Ecosurety