Since Blue Planet II aired at the end of 2017, Waitrose & Partners has seen an 800% increase in questions about plastic. The launch of ‘Plan Plastic – The Million Pound Challenge’ responds to this concern and builds on a range of extensive internal commitments made by Waitrose & Partners to date. The grant fund will fast-track wide ranging solutions using the money from the sale of Waitrose’s 5p carrier bags.

‘Plan Plastic’ aims to cut plastic pollution by reducing the amount of unnecessary plastic used and by tackling littered plastic. It is seeking to support a small number of high quality, innovative projects over one year starting in April 2019. Projects will be selected by a grant panel, consisting of independent experts on social investment, plastics and social enterprise, as well as a senior representative from Waitrose & Partners. Hubbub will help the selection process, support the chosen projects and will measure the impact of the grants.

Projects need to demonstrate that they will have a significant measurable impact on plastic pollution and a clear legacy. Applications are sought for projects covering one of the following areas:

Social plastics

Collaborative projects encouraging and enabling plastic recycling linked to social impact. Recycled plastics can be used to create a range of products that provide social benefit for communities. They can be turned into items such as play areas, outdoor gym equipment and gardening products. Projects in this category could seek to build a circular economy by repurposing collected plastics and offering them back to the local community for wider social benefit. 


Campaigns aimed at children and young people to raise awareness and change behaviour to reduce plastic pollution. The government is urging schools to eliminate single-use plastics by 2020. Projects within this category could speed this transition. They might include installing recycling reward machines, offering incentives for reusable containers and creating impactful communication campaigns.

Public behaviour change

Inspiring and enabling new ways of shopping and living sustainably. These projects should aim to deliver impactful behaviour change campaigns built on sound academic principles. The campaigns could be in any variety of settings including local communities, festivals, etc. or they could be aimed at specific audiences such as young families, sports clubs, etc.

Food, agriculture and farming 

Focussing on finding alternatives, reducing use, and increasing reuse of plastics in the food, agriculture and farming industries as well as tackling food waste. The panel will be seeking innovative, collaborative campaigns that follow the waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle and that focus on finding the financial and environmental benefits of harnessing waste as a resource. Projects in this category must be beyond ‘business as usual’ activities, demonstrating real creativity, some risk taking and ideas that could have a significant long-term impact.


Projects aimed at identifying the impact, reducing the prevalence and preventing micro plastic pollution. This is an area of growing concern and much uncertainty. The panel will be looking for projects that move the debate forward by offering new research, solutions built on strong academic evidence and communication campaigns that help people to make informed decisions.

Collaborative applications from a range of partners will be welcomed but the lead application must be a registered body and be one of the following:

  • Charity
  • Academic Body
  • Community Interest Company
  • Social Enterprise
  • Schools and Colleges

The five winning projects have been announced! Click here to find out who the winners are.