Sign the petition: Ask the UK Government for a National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund

Common Seas was delighted to host a packed event at Conservative Party Conference 2021 in Manchester.

The event saw politicians, NGOs and some of the world’s leading scientists discuss how a £15 million National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund can be implemented.

Organised by Common Seas, the panel included Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Brendan Clarke-Smith MP, and Dr Stephanie Wright, of Imperial College London, Colin Malaney, of the Conservative Environment Network, and Jo Royle, of Common Seas, were also on the panel with Sky News’ Chief Political Correspondent Jon Craig as chair.

The audience heard how a National Plastic Health Impact Fund will be vital in establishing the risks plastic poses to human health.

Speaking after the event Common Seas Founder Jo Royle said:

“Today at Conservative Party Conference MPs, scientists, and NGOs debated the urgent need for a new National Plastic Health Impact Research fund. We breathe in, drink and eat plastic particles every day. As plastic production skyrockets so does our exposure."

“The scientists are worried that plastic may harm our immune system and increase chronic illnesses, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease."

“We all have a right to know what plastic is doing to our bodies.”

There is growing concern that plastic may be harming our health. For example, we know that the presence of persistent particles that the body can’t break down, including micro- and nano-plastics, is associated with chronic diseases including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Despite this concern, research into plastic’s impact on our health is drastically underfunded. In contrast, over the next 20 years, £2.3 trillion will be invested in plastic production, doubling the amount generated, tripling the amount flowing into our ocean and significantly increasing all our exposure to plastic.

The Government is right to set out Britain’s ambition to be a world leader in research and development across health, life-sciences, and manufacturing. And allocating £15 billion to achieve this in 2021/2022 was crucial.

Along with more than 80 NGOs, scientists and MPs, Common Seas is asking the Treasury to allocate £15 million of this funding towards urgent research into the human health impacts of plastic. This would represent just 0.1 percent of Whitehall’s total R&D spend.

Like people across Britain, I agree with such a call. And I passionately believe the UK Government should set up a National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund without delay.

Sign the petition HERE.

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