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International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt today (11 March) doubled UK aid support for plastic recycling in developing countries and called for solutions to clearing plastic waste from the world’s oceans and rivers, at an event in Parliament with Sir David Attenborough.

Ms Mordaunt was joined by Sir David Attenborough and MPs in Parliament on Commonwealth Day, where she spoke about the duty we have to our planet, to future generations and to the world’s poorest to “sort out” plastic waste. Ms Mordaunt made “crystal clear” that the UK’s aid budget will continue to be used to confront plastic pollution and that she wants to hear from scientists, tech entrepreneurs and business leaders for ideas and solutions to clean up plastic waste already in our oceans.

At an event, hosted by the Coalition for Global Prosperity, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Prevention for Plastic Waste and Plastic Oceans UK, Ms Mordaunt announced that the Department for International Development (DFID) will increase its UK aid support for pilot schemes to improve plastic recycling in some of the world’s poorest countries, from £3 million to £6 million.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our oceans. The UN estimates that there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, unless we act to reduce our use and improve how waste is managed, particularly in poorer countries.

That’s why I am doubling UK aid’s support to projects in developing countries to increase plastic recycling. This will create jobs and reduce the harmful impact of plastic waste in our oceans. Cleaning up our environment is a win for us all.

During a speech in parliament Sir David Attenborough spoke of “the hideous consequences” of plastics “to both humanity and to life in the seas, upon which we depend” and mentioned the “shame” in the amount of plastics the UK produces. Sir David also questioned where all of the country’s plastic waste would end up. Read more

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