Rubber sector leads UK innovation in 'packaging waste & recycling'
Report: With over 30 filed technologies, 'rubber composition is the leading area of polymer innovation...'
London – Rubber technology is the leading area of innovation in packaging 'waste and recycling' technology within the UK, a study of patent activity has found.
Overall, innovation in polymer 'packaging and recycling' technology more than tripled over the past decade, according to the research carried out by GovGrant.
The increase was driven by legislative action and policy initiatives to tackle polymer waste, said GovGrant, which helps innovative businesses to get government funding.
With over 30 patent filings, "rubber composition' is the leading area of innovation in the UK, followed by 'particles' and 'flexible containers',” the report noted.
These technologies, it said, are typically centred on reducing the persistence of products, enabling polymers to better decompose or be recycled.
Overall, the report found that there was a need for increased investment in this area of polymer innovation to enhance the competitiveness of UK industry.
Nearly half of all 'packaging and recycling' patents have been developed in Asia – particularly China and Japan – over the last two decades, according to the report.
Europe, the GovGrant study found, is second in terms of innovation with Germany ranking in the top four for related patent filings and the UK ranking seventh.
UK policy-makers have “a role to play” in advancing innovation in polmer recycling, said Akshay Thaman, IP consultant & policy lead at GovGrant.
For example, he noted that the government had omitted polymers from its 10-point plan for a 'green industrial revolution', launched in 2020.
“If the UK wants to be serious about [polymer] innovation, it needs to set a plan,” commented Thaman.
Polymer production "is here to stay, however, improving the way we manage waste is the key to achieving a circular economy and sustainability,” he concluded.