Two firms awarded funding for UK’s first digital waste tracking system

Two companies have been awarded up to £1 million by the government to build prototypes for the UK’s first comprehensive digital waste tracking system.

DEFRA announced today that digital specialists Anthesis and waste analytics company Topolytics will receive the grant as part of the government’s £20m GovTech Catalyst fund.

The firms were picked from a shortlist of five in the latest stage of the Cabinet Office’s competition and  will aim to prove the feasibility of using emerging technology to record and track individual movements of waste through the economy. 

Both firms will each create a UK-wide digitalised system that includes all international waste shipments, tracking waste prior to shipping through to final destination. The prototypes will also enable environmental regulators to analyse and inspect data, be field tested and ready for expert review in beta version within 12 months. 

In a statement, DEFRA said its commitment to clamp down on illegal movements of waste at home and abroad, including by introducing compulsory electronic tracking of waste, was included in the landmark Environment Bill, introduced to Parliament this week

Rebecca Pow the new environment minister said the “transformative Environmental Bill will be a driving force for change – improving the way we manage our waste by creating powers to introduce an electronic waste tracking system”.  

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