Plastic pollution prevention old

This call is aimed at initiatives that prevent plastic pollution to the sea, waterways and on land. Projects that prevent plastic pollution across the entire value chain, and are implemented in Norway, can apply for funding.


All types of organisations that can contribute to plastic pollution prevention can apply. It is favourable if problem owners, or producers, participate in the project either as the applicant or as a project partner.

  • Funding available: ca. NOK 15 million

  • Project duration: up to 2 years

  • Requirements for other financing*:
    At least 50 % of the total project budget

  • Two-step application process: requires a prequalification application. Qualified applicants are invited to submit a full application.

Important dates:

  • March 1st: Launch of the call for projects and application form

  • March 22nd at 16:00 (CET): Deadline for prequalification applications

  • April 15th: Successful applicants are invited to write a full application

  • May 14th at 16:00 (CEST): Deadline full application

  • By 20th of June: All applicants receive a response (grant/rejection)

* "Other financing" means self-financing and self-funded work, private investors, and public or private funding schemes like Innovation Norway and the Savings Bank Foundation DNB. It will be viewed positively if the applicant contributes their own funds rather than relying solely on external funds, albeit it is not a requirement.


Plastic pollution can be prevented by measures at different stages in the value chain: in the design phase when products are (further) developed, in the use phase, and when the product or packaging has become waste.

Example case:

It is estimated that 100,000 lobster traps have been lost during lobster fishing over the last six years, which is far more than we have the capacity to clean up. Lost traps can be reduced by measures in the design phase eg. by replacing plastic/metal in the construction and plastic nets with biodegradable materials, implementing information measures on the correct use of traps, and introducing requirements for the design of traps. Traps are one source of plastic pollution – there are countless others.

This call targets projects that contribute to:

  • Design to reduce pollution, inspired by principles that can be read at Green Dot Norway or Keep Norway Beautiful.

  • Reduce the risk of pollution from industries with known challenges

  • Increased use of guidance materials, e.g., efficient trap practices that provides increased knowledge about responsible fishing

  • Creating courses and certifications for reduced littering, ie. based on the web course Praktisk talt plast and the Directorate of Fisheries’ Skitt Fiske

  • Prevent plastic waste from ships, including cruise ships, fishing vessels, and leisure boats, from ending up as pollution both at sea and in ports. Eg. Measures that ensure thorough follow-up of the Pollution Control Act chap. 20.

  • Stop pollution from waste handling and management during transport and storage, e.g., at construction sites and waste management actors.

It is not possible to apply for

  • Pedagogical material directed towards children and youth

  • Mapping of plastic pollution

  • Development of solutions to clean up plastic pollution

  • Pure operational costs

    • Development and testing of solutions and technology can be funded, operational costs for implementation cannot be funded.

    • Management of plastic in established waste and recycling streams.

  • Projects outside of Norway

  • Measures and activities implemented prior to grant decisions.

Application requirements

  • Private and public enterprises registered in the Brønnøysund Register Centre or an equivalent international body, such as Company "Registration Number (CRN), business number or equivalent, to verify the existence of your organisation)

  • Organisation and contact persons must be registered in the project portal

  • Applicants must submit an electronic application through the project portal

  • Project accounting
    • Guidelines for hourly rates for personnel must be followed

    • Auditing, including Guide to project accounting and auditing

  • Applicants must provide realistic budgets and specify how the funds will be used

  • Applications must be written in Norwegian or English

  • Any previous agreements with the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund must have been honoured.

  • If at least one of the points below applies to the project, the application form requires the applicant to answer additional questions:

Reporting and accounting


  • Before the second and subsequent payments, the recipient must submit a status report for the project when requesting the disbursement of funds.

  • Multi-year projects: the recipient must submit a written annual report for the project each year.

  • All projects must submit a final report for the project.

  • All reports must be submitted electronically in the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund’s project portal. This will be explained in the startup meeting.

Project accounting and auditing

  • All projects must prepare final project accounts for the entire project period as part of the final report.

  • For grants from NOK 350,000 up to and including NOK 1,000,000, a statement must also be provided by a state-authorised financial auditor with “Agreed-upon procedures” in accordance with ISRS 4400 Agreed-upon procedures.

  • For grants exceeding NOK 1,000,000, a statement must also be provided by a state-authorised financial auditor with an audit of the project accounts in accordance with ISA 805 (Revised), Special considerations – audits of single financial statements and specific elements, accounts or items of a financial statement.

Costs associated with the use of an auditor are incurred by the project, and must be included in the budget when relevant.

Grants and VAT

Funding from the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund can be used as self-funding in connection with applications submitted to other funding schemes.

The grant includes any taxes, including value added tax (VAT). The grant is awarded as a gift.

Although the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund considers that the grants awarded as gifts are not normally subject to VAT, it is the service provider (i.e. the recipient) who is responsible for complying with their VAT regulations. The recipient must assess this on an independent basis. The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund cannot be invoiced or otherwise charged for additional costs in cases where the recipient of funds has misinterpreted the VAT regulations.

The applicant must clarify with its auditor whether an allocation will be subject to VAT or not.

Application processing

The application is treated confidentially

The application process adheres to a strict protocol of impartiality and confidentiality. You can read these declarations here. Note that the information in the application may be shared confidentially with other funding bodies (such as the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Savings Bank Foundation DNB) as part of the application process when relevant. This is to ensure thorough and efficient processing, as well as the appropriate use of funds.

Selected experts from NREFs Committee of external experts and the Board of Directors may access the application during their evaluation and decision making. In the application form, the applicant can specify names of individuals and businesses they consider to be impartial in the evaluation of their application, and therefore should not have access to the application.

Project evaluation

  • Evaluation of prequalification: At least two employees of the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund evaluate the application. Once the administrative decision is made, the applicant receives a response, either a rejection or an invitation to submit a full application.

  • Evaluation of full application: At least two employees of the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund evaluate the application. Additionally, external experts are involved:
    • Applications up to and including NOK 500,000: An external expert's participation is only initiated based on the administrative team's judgement.

    • Applications over NOK 500,000, up to and including NOK 1,000,000: At least one external expert evaluates the application.

    • Applications over NOK 1,000 000: At least two external experts evaluate the application.

  • Decision: The administration of the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund compiles assessments from both its own and external experts, and presents recommended grants to the Board of Directors, that makes the final decision.

Assessment criteria

The application will be assessed according to four assessment criteria, all of which are given equal weight on a scale from 1-7:

  • The quality of the project
    The quality of the proposed measures, activities and methods. To what extent the proposed work is ambitious and innovative, realistic and well-founded in knowledge and experience.

  • Environmental impact
    The potential to reduce the negative environmental effects of plastic in the short and long term. To what extent the project can deliver good solutions and results. Plans for the dissemination and sharing of results, knowledge and of the concrete solutions developed in the project.

  • Implementation
    The quality of the project's organisation, management and resource use. To what extent the project is well-organised with the right expertise in the project team and partners.

  • Thematic priorities of the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund
    To what extent the project answers to the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund’s thematic priorities.

Some projects undergo additional scrutiny

  • This applies to applications exceeding NOK 5 million, and select projects that, in the opinion of the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund, require more thorough assessment

  • A web meeting with participants from the applicant, the Fund’s administration, and external experts will be arranged.

  • The applicant will present the project, and the Fund’s administration and external experts can ask questions about the application and the project.