Systemic change to the entire plastics economy is needed to halt ocean plastic pollution

As many of you will be aware UK and Ireland Spill Association members have been working together in the Plastic Pollution Working Group to develop deployable solutions should plastic arrive unannounced on our shores.

The question we have all pondered is if there is so much plastic in our oceans, in our streets, in our rivers to the extent that the UK has been trying to export it – why is virgin plastic being used at all!!

It’s down to price. It costs more to recycle and reuse than to use virgin plastic.

We also admire the work being done in Universities and I was delighted to see that the University of Portsmouth has today published its report on how systemic change is required to the plastic economy to incentivise recycle and reuse.

They present an action plan for change that Government should look at. However, they highlight that Governments must work together with common policies to manage the international trade in plastic waste, to encourage a circular economy in plastics and to support innovation.

The report summary is well worth a read and can be found here:


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