Government pledges £61 million to tackle plastic pollution in oceans

Theresa May announced the fund ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London next week. She is due to call on all of the 52 leaders present to sign up to the Commonwealth Clea

Sri Lanka joins Commonwealth alliance to fight against plastic pollution Sun, Apr 15, 2018, 09:19 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Some £25m of the cash will go to research on marine plastic pollution, while £20m will go on tackling plastic waste in developing countries.

Each of the countries will be asked to pledge action on plastic waste, from banning microbeads to committing to cutting down on single-use plastic bags.

Four Commonwealth countries have already joined the United Kingdom in the alliance - New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Ghana.

She 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".

"As one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the world today, it is vital 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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A further £20 million ($28.6 million) will be used to curb plastic and other environmental pollution generated by manufacturing in developing countries and prevent it entering the oceans.

Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory made the discovery while examining the structure of a natural enzyme thought to have evolved in a waste recycling centre in Japan. The DFID has also committed to matching public donations to chosen charities tackling the plastic waste crisis during the latest round of UK Aid Match funding.

Although measures to hike taxes on single-use plastics are still under development, the response from the business world to anti-plastic sentiment has been dramatic, with firms from PG Tips to Iceland pledging to cut down - or outlaw altogether - single-use plastics from their operations.

Sky and National Geographic have joined forces to stop plastic litter ending up in the world's oceans.

"We can all play a significant part in dealing with the plastic problem, but the scientific community who ultimately created these "wonder materials" must now use all the technology at their disposal to develop real solutions".

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