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UK Launches Research Fund to Tackle Plastic Pollution

UK Launches Research Fund to Tackle Plastic PollutionUK Launches Research Fund to Tackle Plastic Pollution

The UK government has taken another step toward tackling plastic waste by creating a new £20 million research fund. The Plastics and Research Innovation Fund will be used to further circular principles and new ideas on how to change plastic manufacturing and consumption practices, Climate Action's website reported.

Science Minister Sam Gyimah said: "There's been incredible progress in making people aware of the danger that plastic can do to our environment and our oceans. Today we are announcing a £20 million fund for our best scientists and researchers to come up with new technology and also new plastics that do not harm the environment so much. This means moving from our current model of make, use and dispose to a new model where you use, you reuse and you recycle."

The fund will be managed by UK Research and Innovation and split into three different areas: £10m on business-led innovation development; £8m toward plastics research; and £2m on creating a "UK Circular Plastics Network." UKRI will also work with sustainability experts at Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production to identify research priorities and connect the right people across business, academia and government.

  Time to Reverse Course  

UKRI's Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: "It is imperative we change our use and misuse of plastic. Although plastics have transformed the way we live and play an important role in many aspects of modern life, we are increasingly aware of the devastating damage plastic waste can inflict on the environment and people's health. This fund will help to create the range of new approaches and alternatives needed to rapidly reverse the impact that our use of plastics is having on the planet."

The government is hoping the funding can create new methods of recycling plastic and approaches to packaging. It also has not ruled out setting new charges on plastic material to help meet its target of eradicating all "avoidable" plastic waste by 2042.

 

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