UK launches new research hub to tackle marine plastic

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A new global hub will bring together scientific and technical expertise to share latest thinking on sustainable alternatives to plastic and stopping plastic entering oceans.

The UK, working with other Commonwealth countries, will launch a research and innovation hub for experts to develop solutions to stop plastic waste from entering our oceans and find environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic.

India, Canada and other Commonwealth nations have already signed up to be part of the new Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Framework – a hub where researchers will be able to connect and collaborate on the latest research and innovations to tackle marine plastics.

The UK will play a leading role in designing and running the Framework, encouraging the world to move towards clean growth through the government’s modern Industrial Strategy. An international steering board will oversee the work.

The Prime Minister announced that the UK would contribute £25 million to the Framework during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.

So far Unilever has committed £5 million in research and development, while Waitrose has pledged £0.5 million of research.

The British Plastics Federation, which represents more than 500 UK companies, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRiAP), RPC Group Plc and engineering giant Mott MacDonald are among those who have given their support, including access to their facilities, networks and expertise.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “Plastics are not only polluting our waters, they are contributing to climate change and killing sea life.”

“With our funding, matched by research being developed by nations throughout the Commonwealth, this £50 million Framework will help develop options for alternative uses to prevent plastics from ending up in our seas. It also ensures that the UK is at the forefront of encouraging the world to move towards clean growth, tackling the threat from marine plastics and protecting our oceans for future generations.”

This press release was originally published as UK launches new research and innovation hub to tackle scourge of plastic in our seas and oceans at Gov.UK on 09/05/18.

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