Theresa May will use this week's Commonwealth summit to launch a multi-million-pound bid to help rid the oceans of plastic pollution. It will also put £20 million to prevent plastic and other environmental pollution from manufacturing in developing countries.
The £61.4-million funding package will go towards practical and research-based projects, with up to five developing countries able to receive partnership support from the Department for International Development (DFID) to help them improve their waste management systems.
From the funding announced by May, £25 million ($35.8 million) will be used to help researchers investigate the issue of marine plastic from a scientific, economic and social perspective.
The announcement came as the Prime Minister also confirmed that New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana have joined the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA) - an agreement between member states to join forces in the fight against plastic pollution. The UK public has shown passion and energy in the fight against plastic waste.
A series of events will convene and engage industry leaders, businesses and institutions focused on the issue of marine plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is on the agenda this week at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, after the United Kingdom partnered with Pacific island nation Vanuatu to establish the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.
"We are joining forces with our Commonwealth partners, bringing together global expertise to stop plastics waste from entering oceans - and by matching pound-for-pound the United Kingdom public's passionate response to the issue, we can make our shared ambition for clean oceans a reality".
"It is a unique organisation with the strength and the commitment to make a difference".
Announcing the move on Saturday, May dubbed plastic waste a "scourge" on the world's oceans and promised to harness collective action from Commonwealth nations to "effect real change".
The research was led by teams at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and the U.S. department of energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Earlier this year the United Kingdom promised to eliminate "unnecessary" single-use plastics in the United Kingdom by 2042.
Although measures to hike taxes on single-use plastics are still under development, the response from the business world to anti-plastic sentiment has been dramatic, with firms from PG Tips to Iceland pledging to cut down - or outlaw altogether - single-use plastics from their operations.
According to John McGeehan, a professor at the University of Portsmouth, UK who led the research, "What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic".