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On 15 April Theresa May announced the new Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance – an agreement between the UK, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana to join forces in the fight against plastic pollution.

The group has pledged to ban microbeads in rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products, as well as cutting plastic bag use by 2021. We and other organisations and businesses from across the Commonwealth will be working with the Alliance to push for global change and protect the environment for future generations.

The Prime Minister announced funding of £61.4 million to drive this forward:

  • £25m of the fund will be used to help researchers investigate the issue of marine plastic from a scientific, economic and social perspective.

  • A further £20m will be used to curb plastic and other environmental pollution generated by manufacturing in developing countries and prevent it entering the oceans.

  • The remaining £16.4m will be devoted to improving waste management at a national and a city level to stop plastics entering the water.


What it means

The announcement is good news for nature, and for people around the world. 

We can’t save our oceans by just tackling the plastic waste problem at home. This alliance shows that the UK is committed to being part of a global solution.

Two billion people around the world don't have access to proper waste collection, so much of the plastic they use ends up in our oceans. Devoting UK international development money to help other communities manage their plastic waste will be good for us all.