Sustainable polymers, plastics and packaging

Developing new material designs for use in a circular economy

Plastic is a valuable and versatile material that protects products and keeps food fresh. However much of the plastic packaging we use has not been designed with circularity in mind.

This results in materials being disposed of by incineration and landfill, or leaking into the environment as pollution. In the UK, plastic packaging accounts for nearly 70% of our plastic waste.

Retailers and brands are under increasing pressure, from Regulators and the consumer, to turn the tide on plastic waste. Businesses are aligning with the UK Plastics Pact to deliver improved environmental performance for packaging. This includes intending to eliminate single-use plastics, opting for more re-usable, recyclable, and compostable packaging alternatives. 

Barriers to achieving this, however, is the availability of functional materials or their innovation at a pace and scale necessary to sustainably overcome these challenges and meet demand. That's where we come in. CPI is in a unique position to bring together innovators, retailers and brands to help improve the environmental performance and end-of-life option of products, plastics and packaging. We help to identify strategies that simplify and reduce plastic packaging, to adopt reusable alternatives and maximise efficiencies of end-of-life solutions so that packaging materials are compatible with nature or recycled back into new products and packaging. 

Key facts

Plastic packaging accounts for nearly 70% of the UK's plastic waste
40% of all plastic produced is single-use packaging and plays an important role in keeping food fresh and safe
Biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable packaging is the future of this essential industry

Working across the full packaging supply chain, we build a strong understanding of the challenges, form collaborations and raise funds to help develop and scale-up potential solutions. This means analysing the packaging lifecycle and enabling innovators to demonstrate, scale and take to market, more sustainable products. By working with us, innovators can develop products from proof-of-concept to commercialisation, as well as, optimising their manufacturing processes, in a cost-effective and timely manner. For example, CPI has collaborated with industry partners to develop new bio-based, biodegradable food packaging with better end-of-life options, including composting and anaerobic digestion. This is a great example of how we can keep food fresh and whilst protecting our environment. 

How we can help

We are here to support you every step of the way, from initial formulations and components, through to final products and scale-up.


Colloid Science

Polymer processing and composites

Material and Formulation Optimisation

Automated Experimentation

Modelling, Informatics and Data Science

Process Optimisation and Scale-up

Process Engineering Design

Photo of Dan Noakes Business Development Lead at CPI

Dan Noakes

Business Development Lead, CPI