United Kingdom pledges new funding to battle plastic pollution


To drive the aims of the alliance forward, May has also announced an 88 million US dollars package of funding to boost global research, and help Commonwealth countries stop plastic waste from entering the oceans in the first place.

British Prime Minister Theresa May Sunday announced that Sri Lanka along with New Zealand, and Ghana has joined the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance to join forces in the fight against plastic pollution.

The nature-based network will bring together its global network of scientists and academics to support the fund's vision and provide targeted funding to improve recycling and waste management so the volume of plastic pollution in the oceans can be measurably reduced.

So far four Commonwealth countries, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Ghana, have joined the United Kingdom in the alliance.

Other funding announcements made in yesterday's statement include £25 million to help researchers approach the scourge of marine plastic waste from a scientific, technical, economic and social perspective. The UK public has shown passion and energy in the fight against plastic waste.

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The remaining £16.4 million will be devoted to improving waste management at a national and a city level to stop plastics entering the water.

Ahead of the meeting, Mrs May 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".

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. 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".

Poor waste management is the single leading cause of plastics in the ocean, and improving waste infrastructure in developing countries will be a major focus of the CCOA, according to Downing Street.

The Alliance will press fellow Commonwealth nations to cut down on single-use plastics and ban microbeads.