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UK unveils plans for plastics research and innovation hub

PKBR Staff Writer Published 09 May 2018

The UK Government has confirmed plans to bring together businesses and research bodies from across the world to help tackle scourge of plastic in seas and oceans.

The UK is already working with the governments of Canada, India, and several other Commonwealth countries to launch a new £50m Marine Plastics Research and Innovation Framework designed to help experts develop solutions to stop plastic waste from entering oceans and identofy environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic.

UK 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.”

The new hub is intended to bring together scientific and technical expertise to share the latest thinking on creating sustainable alternatives to plastic.

The UK is planning to contribute £25m to the Framework, which has already secured £5m in research and development funding from Unilever and a further £0.5m of research from Waitrose.

Unilever CEO Paul Polman said: “It is critical that governments, businesses and others from across the Commonwealth work in partnership to step away from our take-make-dispose model of consumption.

“We are delighted to be contributing £5 million worth of research and development to the Framework.”

Additionally, the hub is being supported by the British Plastics Federation, which represents more than 500 UK companies, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRiAP), RPC Group and Mott MacDonald, among others.