The countries of the Commonwealth are uniting in the fight against single use plastics, with New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana joining the UK in the Clean Oceans Alliance, which is an agreement between the member states to tackle plastic pollution.
The alliance that is led by Vanatu is calling on other countries to take action on plastics. They are encouraging countries to enforce a ban on microbeads, cutting down on single-use plastics and put measures in place to eliminate plastic waste that is avoidable.
Theresa May has announced that a £61.4 million package of funding to boost research around the world and help countries in the Commonwealth stop plastic from reaching the ocean is being made available. Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: “When it comes to our seas and oceans, the challenge is global so the answer must be too.
“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.”
Penny Mourdant, International Development Secretary 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. We are joining forces with our Commonwealth partners, bringing together global expertise to stop plastics waste from entering oceans – and by matching pound-for-pound the UK public’s passionate response to the issue, we can make our shared ambition for clean oceans a reality.”
The UK Government has also committed £25 million to help researchers tackle marine plastic waste from crucial areas, including scientifically, technically, economically and from a social outlook. A further £20 million is being funded to help prevent plastic and environmental pollution in developing countries.