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Waitrose to fund plastic-pollution fellowship

Investment by supermarket aims to help reduce the amount of plastic filling the ocean and prevent a global catastrophe

Waitrose to fund plastic-pollution fellowship

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Waitrose is funding a number of university fellowships in the search for new solutions to tackle plastic pollution.  

The Blue Charter Fellowships, run by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), will receive funding from the supermarket for ten new fellowships to lead world-class research and innovation in marine plastics, Waitrose announced.

Marine plastics have become a global concern, with figures showing that plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050 if current trends continue. While work is being done to address the issue, research isn’t always shared globally.

The new fellowships will focus on three priority areas: preventing plastics from getting into the sea; developing sustainable alternatives to plastic; and cleaning up the seas.

The funding will also support 40 research impact grants, designed to ensure the outcomes of the fellowships lead to real-world impact, with research and information shared widely.

Fellowships will be hosted by a number of the 520 universities across the Commonwealth, in 50 countries. The scheme will also work with industry partners, including Waitrose, to deliver industry-focused fellowships.

Tor Harris, head of CSR, health and agriculture at Waitrose & Partners, said: “Tackling plastics is a global issue. That’s why Waitrose & Partners is supporting insight and innovation that will identify  sustainable solutions that will be shared here in the UK and further afield for greater impact.”

Chris Skidmore, minister for universities, science, research and innovation, said: “Plastic pollution in our ocean is a global crisis that we cannot afford to ignore. This investment by Waitrose is exactly what we want to see from the private sector, bolstering government investment in research that will tackle the grand challenges that affect us all."

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