The John Lewis Partnership has created a £1m fund inviting academics, charities and start-ups to pitch sustainable ideas.

The department store giant, which operates both the John Lewis and Waitrose fascias, will funnel cash into projects aiming to end “throwaway culture”.

John Lewis will hear pitches from innovators with ideas to help reduce the environmental impact of clothes, food and gadgets, who will then be given grants of £150,000 to £300,000.

The fund is aimed at academia, charities, social enterprises and businesses that are less than five years old. 

The Circular Future Fund was raised from the sale of 10p plastic bags in John Lewis and Waitrose stores.

John Lewis director of ethics and sustainability Marija Rompani said: “We live in a world of finite materials and we need to start protecting them before it’s too late.

“This is why we’re particularly looking for projects that are regenerative and can eliminate waste or pollution from the design stage.”

Applications for the fund will close on January 9, and an independent panel will review from March with the grants being awarded in April.