UK pledges £61.4m to Commonwealth to help clear ocean plastic

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
The CCOA will work in partnership with businesses and NGOs

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the UK will pledge £61.4m to help Commonwealth countries stop plastic waste entering the oceans.

The UK will join New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Vanuatu to form a Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA) which will call on other countries to reduce plastic pollution.

The CCOA will work in partnership with businesses and NGOs, including the World Economic Forum, Sky, Fauna and Flora International, the Coca-Cola Company and WWF to share expertise and experience

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “Through this ambitious alliance we will build on the UK’s world-leading microbeads ban and 5p plastic bag charge to harness the full power of the Commonwealth in pushing for global change and safeguarding our marine environment for future generations.”

Developing countries signed up to the alliance will be able to bid for partnership support to improve waste management systems and implement other initiatives to stop plastic waste from reaching oceans.

UK measures

From later this year, the Department for International Development has also said it will match pound-for-pound public donations to tackle plastic waste following the "passionate response of the UK public to the issue".

It will also support research into how to reduce manufacturing pollution and carry out waste management pilot programmes.

The UK will commit a further £25m to help researchers develop new solutions to marine plastic waste, and donate £20m to prevent plastic and other environmental pollution from manufacturing in developing countries.

To further support the CCOA, £16.4m will be used to improve waste management at a national and city level.

The CCOA will work in line with a number of international agreements including the Sustainable Development Goal 14, UN Clean seas campaign and the London Protocol.

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