Organisations across the South West are joining forces as part of an international project to remove and prevent plastic pollution in the English Channel.
Preventing Plastic Pollution (PPP) will develop a model to gather data on the amount and likely sources of plastic pollution at seven pilot sites, including the River Tamar catchment.
The €14m project was approved by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, which has committed €9.9m in funding through the European Regional Development Fund.
It is made up of 18 partners across the UK and France, and they will work together to generate greater understanding of the origins of plastic pollution in the marine environment in order to effectively target its sources.
The Plymouth area is already renowned for its pioneering and world-leading research and action on plastics, and the local partners include the University of Plymouth, the Westcountry Rivers Trust, Plymouth City Council and the Environment Agency.
They will carry out an assessment of plastic pollution entering the River Tamar catchment, which will then be quantified based on standardised approaches that will be then evaluated.
This conceptual model will also be applied to the six other pilot sites and used to identify pollution hotspots and where interventions would be most effective.
The PPP partners – led by Queen Mary University of London – will also engage with communities, agriculture, fishing and maritime industries to help reduce their plastic footprints and steer them to more sustainable behaviours.