Friday, 20 July, 2018

United Kingdom government pledges £61m to fight plastic waste in Commonwealth countries

Chris Packham has called on the public to take the matter of plastic pollution into their own hands Chris Packham has called on the public to take the matter of plastic pollution into their own hands
Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2018, 02:11

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged £61.4 million to tackle marine plastic pollution through a global alliance of Commonwealth states.

In recognition of the passionate response of the United Kingdom public to the issue, from later this year the Department for International Development will also match pound-for-pound public donations to tackle the issue of plastic waste in the world's oceans and rivers. Vanuatu, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Ghana have recently joined the coalition, which means being able to bid for the new funding.

In addition, £20m will be earmarked to tackle plastic and other environmental pollution generated in developing countries.

She will urge dozens of leaders at this week's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London to join a newly formed Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.

UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: "The scourge of plastics is a global environmental challenge - and one that overwhelmingly impacts the livelihoods and health of the world's poorest people".

She said: "As one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the world today, it is vital that we tackle this issue so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we now find it".

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The remaining £16.4 million ($23.5 million) will be devoted to improving waste management at a national and a city level to stop plastics entering the water, WWF-UK said.

Britain, together with CCOA joint chair Vanuatu, will call on other countries to pledge action on plastics, be this by a ban on microbeads, a commitment to cutting down on single use plastic bags, or other steps to eliminate avoidable plastic waste.

"Although the improvement is modest, this unanticipated discovery suggests that there is room to further improve these enzymes, moving us closer to a recycling solution for the ever-growing mountain of discarded plastics".

The federation added: "The BPF welcomes the opportunity to have a discussion about the right interventions to reduce plastic waste and as an industry are committed to adding our expertise to help work with other Commonwealth countries to reach effective solutions".

"Devoting UK worldwide development money to help poor communities clean up and better manage their waste isn't just good for nature, it's good for people too".

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