UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that it will increase its support from £3m to £6m for pilot schemes to enhance plastic recycling in developing nations.
DFID said that the new funding will be used to find new ways for collecting and recycling more plastic waste, thus avoiding it entering the oceans and rivers.
The UK aid-supported pilot projects, which are already started at Commonwealth nations such as Ghana and Bangladesh, will work alongside global businesses such as Coca-Cola and Unilever, governments and waste collectors to increase the percentage of plastic waste collected and reused.
Via UK aid budget, DFID has agreed to increase the target of Tearfund’s plastics appeal from £2m to £3m, which will be used to open recycling hubs across Pakistan.
DFID will also provide £10m aid to support 19 developing countries, which are part of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.
Through Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution program, DFID has allocated £20m to decrease pollution from manufacturing in Africa and South Asia.
The UK government has already banned the use of microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, and also introduced 5p carrier bag charge to eliminate 15 billion plastic bags from circulation. It is also planning to extend the charge to all retailers and double the minimum charge to 10p.
In 2018, the UK Prime Minister announced £66.4m funding to optimize global research and support countries across the Commonwealth to restrict plastic waste entering the oceans.
DFID 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.”