Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

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

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

THERESA MAY will this week urge Commonwealth leaders to join together to tackle the scourge of discarded plastic in the world's oceans, as she announces £60million-worth of funding to develop new ways to address the problem. Vanuatu, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Ghana have recently joined the coalition, which means being able to bid for the new funding.

The government also confirmed yesterday that developing countries that have signed up to the alliance will also be eligible to bid for partnership support to improve waste management systems, as well as implement other initiatives to stop plastic waste from reaching oceans.

The Government pledged to match public donations to tackle plastic waste through the UK Aid Match up to a total of £5m.

Downing Street said £25m of the new fund would be used to help researchers investigate marine plastic from a scientific, economic and social perspective.

The Prime Minister will warn that the threat to oceans is "one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the world today" and state that the Commonwealth is "uniquely placed" to build on the UK's "transformative action".

Prof McGeehan said few could have predicted since plastics became popular in the 1960s that huge plastic waste patches would be found floating in oceans or washed up on once pristine beaches all over the world.

Furthermore, the United Kingdom will commit £25 million to help researchers approach the scourge of marine plastic waste from a scientific, technical, economic and social perspective.

The remaining amount, £16m, will go towards improving waste management at a national and city level.

Chief Executive of the Diamond Light Source, Professor Andrew Harrison, said: "With input from five institutions in three different countries, this research is a fine example of how global collaboration can help make significant scientific breakthroughs".

Britain, which is co-chairing the event with Vanuatu, will ask Commonwealth nations to follow the UK's lead in banning microbeads and slashing the number of single use plastic bags. "Through this ambitious alliance we will build on the UK's world-leading microbeads ban and 5 pence (0.07 USA dollar) plastic bag charge to harness the full power of the Commonwealth in pushing for global change and safeguarding our marine environment for future generations".

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