Reducing plastic pollution in our ocean requires global action. This is why we are leading efforts to tackle the global problem through our support of the G7 Oceans Plastics Charter, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy and the Commonwealth Blue Charter. In April 2018 we launched the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance (CCOA), which we co-lead with Vanuatu. The CCOA encourages its 25 member countries to take steps to eliminate avoidable single-use plastics, significantly reduce single use plastic carrier bags by 2021 and implement a ban of microbeads in rinse-off personal care products by 2021.
We are also championing action to protect the ocean from plastic pollution through a support package worth over £55 million. This is being used to boost global research and tackle plastic pollution in developing countries in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 14 (Life below water) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production).
We want to lead by example which is why we published the Resources and Waste Strategy for England in December last year that sets out our plans to reduce plastic pollution and move towards a more circular economy. On 18 February we launched a suite of consultations to overhaul the waste system. These actions build on the commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste.