New £60m government fund to tackle global plastic pollution

A fund intended to tackle plastic pollution has been set up by the government.

Over £60m has been set aside to take on plastic in the ocean with £25m going towards research to investigate plastic’s scientific, economic and social impact on marine wildlife.

In addition, £20m will be earmarked to tackle plastic and other environmental pollution generated in developing countries. The remaining amount, £16m, will go towards improving waste management at a national and city level.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, will outline plans ahead of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting this week.

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) welcomed the move and said that it is already taking action to reduce plastic entering rivers and seas, having formed a Marine Litter Platform. The BPF said that the forum enables collaboration between government, brands, retailers, academics, NGOs, manufacturers and recyclers.

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.”

At the start of the year, May indicated that linking up with Commonwealth countries would be one way the UK would help keep plastics out of the ocean.

Launching the 25 Year Environmental Plan, the Prime Minister said: “We will also use the UK’s international influence to drive positive change around the world. When we host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in April, we will put the sustainable development of our oceans firmly on the agenda. We will work with our partners to create a Commonwealth Blue Charter for strong action to reduce plastic waste in the oceans. We will direct our development spending to help developing nations reduce plastic waste, increase our own marine protection areas at home and establish blue protections in our overseas territories.”

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