Image of plastic found on a beach courtesy of Sustainable Coastlines.

Te Tahua Pūtea mō te Kirihou Auaha Plastics Innovation Fund

Open for applications

The Plastics Innovation Fund supports projects that will minimise plastic waste and its harm on the environment. We are seeking to fund projects that find ways to use less plastic and make what we do use reusable or recyclable.

Image courtesy of Sustainable Coastlines

Amount funded

$50 million over 4-years

Key dates

1 November 2021
Round 1 opened for expressions of interest at 3pm
30 June 2022
Round 1 closes at 3pm

More about the fund

Eligibility

Any legal entity can apply for funding.

What is being funded

The Plastics Innovation Fund is targeted at projects that: 

  • minimise plastic waste  
  • support circular solutions  
  • protect the environment from harm   
  • support the reduction of imported plastic
  • improve the behaviour of people and businesses (up the waste hierarchy)  

The first funding round which opened on 1 November 2021 calls for feasibility studies, and research and development projects. These will be prioritised. However, any project type can apply.

See the criteria for approving funding of projects [New Zealand Gazette website]

Watch our one-hour webinar on the fund

plastic innovation fund outcomes
The five main outcomes for the Plastics Innovation Fund. (This information is also available in the text.)
plastic innovation fund outcomes
The five main outcomes for the Plastics Innovation Fund. (This information is also available in the text.)

Application process

1.  Submit your expression of interest

Expressions of interest must be submitted through this portal link 

You will need to read the guidance document and have your RealMe login ready. 

(To access the portal you will need to use Chrome, Firefox or Edge as your web browser.)

2.  Assessment stage

We will assess your expression of interest. If you are eligible and your expression of interest is complete, we will prioritise those which most align to the gazetted criteria. We will regularly invite the most competitive projects to apply. 

3.  Application stage

Those invited to apply will then complete an in-depth application form and project plan. These documents form the basis of a Funding Deed.

4.  Finalisation and kick off

A final documentation approval occurs before due diligence, deed finalisation and project kick off. From this point, milestones are reported and funding is provided throughout the duration of the project.

Check your expression of interest before sending

These questions do not cover all the criteria that will be considered, but if you answer NO to any of the seven questions below, your expression of interest is unlikely to progress further.

  • Will your expression of interest be submitted on behalf of a legal entity? Yes/No
  • Does your project promote or achieve plastic waste minimisation? Yes/No
  • Does your project either:
    • promote or achieve a new activity? 
    • involve a significant expansion in scope or coverage of existing activities? 
    • adopt, scale up or increase in uptake of existing technologies and innovation, developed in New Zealand or overseas?
      Yes/No
  • Is your project for a discrete timeframe of up to four years? Yes/No
  • Is the Plastics Innovation Fund the most suitable government funding source for your project? Yes/No
  • Is funding being contributed to the project from other sources (including the applicant)? Yes/No
  • Does your project meet the relevant minimum funding limit? 
    • The minimum grant available for feasibility or scoping studies will be $20,000.
    • The minimum grant for other project types will be $50,000.
      Yes/No

If you need more information email PlasticsIF@mfe.govt.nz.

Guidance