Sky is helping a startup test its seaweed packaging materials through a new £25m investment vehicle

 
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Sky committed £25m yesterday to fight plastic waste, while also introducing a new residency programme to test sustainable innovations (Source: Getty)

Sky has committed £25m to launch an investment vehicle to support businesses and ideas working to reduce plastic dumped into the ocean and lower plastic production.

The new fund is dubbed Sky Ocean Ventures, and Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch introduced the initiative alongside environment secretary Michael Gove last night.

“Sky Ocean Ventures is a bold new creation that will support breakthrough thinking and invest in promising new ideas that will help turn off the plastics tap,” Darroch said. “We think it’s time businesses stop dumping harmful plastic in to the sea and instead start pumping more money into innovation.”

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He said they want to collaborate with other groups to find and innovate alternative products, which can hopefully lead to meaningful change.

This ranges from developing plastic-free clothing fibres to producing coffee cup alternatives.

Sky also revealed a second environmental improvement scheme, which is called Innovators in Residence. It allows companies to receive mentoring and industry insight as they conduct pilot tests of their environmentally friendly inventions and receive immediate feedback on them.

Skipping Rocks Lab, a London-based sustainable packaging startup, is the first to incubate their ideas through this residency, and the group plans to test its plant and seaweed-based packing materials.

“I look forward to seeing how innovation and creativity can help to turn the tide on plastic waste,” Gove said. “ I am determined to take action to tackle this blight, but when it comes to protecting our natural world, everyone has a role to play.”

He also announced yesterday a new bottle deposit return scheme had been approved. Similar systems adopted by other countries have increased recycling by up to 90 per cent in countries with similar systems — only 43 per cent of plastic bottles in the UK are currently recycled.

Sky is currently committed to rid itself of single-use plastics by 2020.

Read more: Deposit return scheme for drinks bottles to be introduced in England

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