£61-million Commonwealth fund to tackle plastic pollution

A new partnership between Commonwealth member states has been set up by the UK and Vanuatu in order to drive action on plastic waste.

The Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA) has so far been joined by New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana, and it is hoped the remaining 48 members of the Commonwealth will follow suit at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

At a speech on 15 April, UK Prime Minister Theresa May also announced a £61.4-million (€71-million) funding package which will go towards practical and research-based projects, with up to five developing countries able to receive partnership support from the Department for International Development (DFID) to help them improve their waste management systems.

£20 million (€23m) will be put aside to prevent plastic pollution produced by manufacturing in developing countries, £16.4 million (€18.9m) will go towards improving waste management at a national and local level, and the remaining £25 million (€28.9m) will go towards research projects looking to address the issues ‘from a scientific, technical, economic and social perspective.’