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Press releases

University supporting the development of a global agreement to tackle plastic pollution

Revolution Plastics Institute

2 min read Partner content

University of Portsmouth research on plastic policies will help to shape a global agreement on plastic pollution.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has enlisted the help of the University’s Global Plastics Policy Centre to inform negotiations for the possible adoption of an international agreement to tackle plastic pollution. 

The University will provide independent, evidence-based analysis and advice on plastics policy. It will include how effective existing rules are and where there are currently gaps. It will also support thinking about how global ambitions to tackle plastic pollution can be delivered through national actions.

The Global Plastics Policy Centre is the only independent research body in the world with a dedicated team focused on developing rigorous, evidence-based plastics policy analysis. Its work is currently supported by the Flotilla Foundation, a registered charity with a mission to enhance mankind's relationship with the marine environment.

A donation from the Flotilla Foundation, awarded in February 2022, will allow an expansion of the team and an extension of current research, led by Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of the Global Plastics Policy Centre. He advises the UNEP, World Bank and G20 on plastics issues and has already supported several global policy processes during his tenure as Chief Strategy Officer at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Professor Fletcher, who also leads the University of Portsmouth’s Revolution Plastics initiative, said: “It is difficult to think of a more important opportunity to support  global plastics practice and policy. It is estimated that if an agreement is delayed by even five years an extra 80 million tonnes of plastic pollution will enter the ocean. We are, in effect, racing against time.

“The independent policy analysis work underway in the Global Plastics Policy Centre is high profile, globally unique and a critical element to support national and global action to tackle plastic pollution.”

The University of Portsmouth has become a world leader in dealing with the problem of plastic pollution. The Global Plastic Policy Centre was launched at COP26 in Glasgow. 

As well as the work being carried out through the Revolution Plastics initiative, the University’s Centre for Enzyme Innovation has developed an enzyme that effectively eats single-use plastic.


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