Whitehall should fund urgent research on health impact of plastic, experts say

More than 80 pre-eminent scientists, campaigners and MPs will today call on the Government to fund urgent research into the health impact of plastic waste.

Writing in an open letter to the Prime Minister, experts have today called on the Government to ringfence £15 million for a National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund.

We proposed the research fund, which is backed by leading charities Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

In recent years, more evidence has suggested that plastic poses a threat to human health.

Yet despite finding plastic in our air, food and water, little research has been conducted to fully establish what this means for our health.

Within the next 20 years, $2.3 trillion will be invested in plastic production, doubling the amount generated and significantly increasing our exposure to plastic.

It is vital the Government acts now.

The National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund requires a commitment of just 0.1% of the UK’s total spend on research and development.

Leading UK scientists, including Professor Susan Jobling, Professor Tamara Galloway and Dr Stephanie Wright, have joined the call urging the Government to address this chronically underfunded area of research.

MP’s Henry Smith, Mick Whitley, and Rosie Cooper have also joined the list of signatories lending their support to the National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund.

As Jo, our Founder and CEO, says: “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."

"Whitehall recently announced its commitment to making Britain a world leader in R&D in health and life sciences. We are asking the Government to lead the investigation into what could become one of the most profound public health challenges in generations.”

Read the full letter here.

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