New £60m government fund to tackle global plastic pollution

The enzymes could enable plastic bottles to be fully recycled for the first time

The enzymes could enable plastic bottles to be fully recycled for the first time

New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana have already joined, Downing Street said on Saturday.

As part of the drive, the governments will work with organizations and businesses to protect the environment.

The Department for International Development will also support research into solutions to reduce manufacturing pollution, and carry out waste management pilot programmes to help tackle the waste from cities that too often ends up in the world's oceans and rivers.

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.

The funding will also help Commonwealth countries to stop plastic waste from entering the oceans.

The Government pledged to match public donations to tackle plastic waste through the UK Aid Match up to a total of £5m.

1 2017 shows a discarded plastic bottle in the Port Cros natural park
1 2017 shows a discarded plastic bottle in the Port Cros natural park

She added: "If we stand together, we have the opportunity to send not only a powerful message to the world, but also to effect real change".

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.

UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt 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".

It was also confirmed that from later in 2018, the Department for International Development will match public donations to tackle the issue of plastic waste in the world's oceans and rivers, "in recognition of the passionate response of the United Kingdom public to the issue".

The Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance, which will work in partnership with businesses and NGOs, will implement a number of worldwide agreements to protect oceans, such as the UN Clean Seas campaign, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the London Protocol.

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