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 06-08 March 2018 / ExCeL, London

Theresa May: Foreign aid cash to tackle plastic pollution in oceans

Thursday 14 December

The Prime Minister has confirmed the Government will look at using foreign aid cash to help tackle plastic pollution clogging up the world's oceans.

Sky News understands Environment Secretary Michael Gove has asked the Department for International Development (DfID) to consider increasing the proportion of the £13bn annual overseas aid budget that is spent combating the problem.

Speaking in Paris after attending a major climate change summit of world leaders, Theresa May acknowledged greater amounts of overseas aid money could be used to save marine life.

"We've all been very concerned by the pictures we've seen in recent months of the impact of pollution on marine life, the impact of plastic pollution," she said.

"Of course the UK Government has already taken steps in relation to plastic - a charge on carrier bags, a ban on microbeads.

"But we are looking at what more we can do.

"That's not just the Environment Secretary but the International Development Secretary.

"To see how we can use overseas aid money to ensure we're doing what I think everybody wants, which is reducing this terrible pollution that is taking place and affecting marine life so devastatingly."

Meanwhile, a study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany, has found 90% of plastic waste entering the oceans comes from just 10 rivers.

Two of them, the Nile and the Niger, are in Africa, while the other eight are in Asia: the Indus, Ganges, Amur, Mekong, Pearl, Haihe, Yellow and Yangtze.

Source: Sky News

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