Nations responsible for much of the world’s ocean plastic pollution have promised to start cleaning up their act.

At a UN oceans summit, delegates from China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines said they would work to keep plastics out of the seas.

Eric Solheim, the UN’s environment director, told BBC News: “There are quite encouraging signs, with nations taking the ocean much more seriously.

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A recent paper said much of the marine plastic often originates far from the sea, especially in countries which have developed consumer economies faster than their ability to manage waste.

The Thai government says the nation has established a 20-year strategy to tackle the problem, including developing financial incentives for keeping plastic out of the sea and encouraging eco-packaging design and eco-friendly substitutes for plastics.