A smart label capable of displaying the elapsed time from opening a food package is one project which could benefit from a new fund launched by Zero Waste Scotland. Encouraging environmental innovation, the GBP £100k fund 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 harmful greenhouse gases.
Projects at the forefront of helping Scotland achieve its zero waste targets include:
- UWI Technology: 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 is to reduce the amount of consumer food waste.
- Celtic Renewables: 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.
- Codbod: 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: Testing a 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 potentially be reused.
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.’
Pete Higgins, founder and CEO of UWI Technology, added: ‘The timing of the Zero Waste Scotland funding could not have been better as we endeavor to develop our UWI Label for commercialization. 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.’
Forecasts suggest that future innovation and technology developments could be worth an additional GBP £8.4 billion to Scotland’s low carbon industries by 2015 and create up to 100,000 jobs.