Main image: Common Seas hands in a petition to 10 Downing Street calling for research on the health risks of plastic. Centre Ben Jack, Common Seas; Ciara Doyle, Going Green Media (green jumper); Amy Meek, Kids Against Plastic; Tobias Arno, National Federation ofWomen’s Institutes; Alex Pegler, Common Seas (left).
More than 100,000 people signed a petition, delivered to the prime minister at Downing Street, that calls on the government to fund research into the health impact of plastic.
Ahead of the Spring Budget on 15 March, the petition urges the government to implement a £15 million National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund.
The petition was delivered to Number 10 by a party led by Common Seas.
To mark 100,000 signatures, The Women’s Institute, Kids Against Plastic and film maker Ciara Doyle joined Common Seas to present the petition at Downing Street.
Last year, Common Seas launched groundbreaking research showing that 77% of people tested had plastic in their blood.
The existing sparse body of research indicates potentially devastating short and long-term effects of plastic on human health.
Common Seas and a coalition of NGOs have been campaigning for the Fund, which will study the effects of microplastics on human health, and is supported by over 80 scientists, campaigners and MPs.
‘Delivering our petition with 100,000 signatures to Downing Street, in the company of the UK’s largest women’s organisation and leading youth voices, is so important ahead of the Chancellor’s crucial Budget on 15th March.
‘It has become very clear that microplastics are not just an environmental problem, but also a health one. A £15 million National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund would establish the UK as a science superpower in this vital area of research.
‘We hope with the support of so many people the Government will address the urgent need to implement research into the health effects of plastic pollution.’
Common Seas CEO
Research has determined that each day we are exposed to plastic particles, which have been found widely in our food, drink and the air we breathe.
Our bodily exposure is only set to increase; according to the United Nations, global production of plastic is on course to double by 2030, making this a public health risk that must be immediately investigated.
For a commitment of less than 0.1% of government R&D spending, the National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund would establish the UK as the world leader on plastic and human health, and help drive forward the UK’s ambitions as a global science superpower.