(British Columbia) – Twelve leading ocean conservancy and environmental groups have requested that Canada’s environment and health ministers take immediate regulatory action on plastic pollution and waste. As under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999, ocean and conservation groups call on the Government of Canada to add any plastic generated as a waste. Also discharged from the use or disposal of products or packaging. All to the Schedule 1 List of Toxic Substances under CEPA. 

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Doing so would allow the federal government to pass laws requiring producers of products containing plastics or using plastic packaging to collect and recycle them. So ocean conservancy and environmental groups prevent exports of plastics to developing countries. All to require recycled plastics to be used in making products and packaging. Thereby ocean conservancy and environmental groups  demand banning single-use plastic items not collected. As well as to reduce microplastic waste from clothing and other products. All as a result that pollute fish Canadians eat.

The 12 ocean conservancy and environmental groups have banded together. All to make this formal and joint request to Canada’s environmental and health ministers.

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  1. Surfrider Foundation Canada

  2. The Ocean Legacy Foundation

  3. Environmental Defense Canada

  4. West Coast Environmental Law

  5. Friends of the Earth Canada

  6. Pacific Wild Alliance

  7. BC Marine Trails Association

  8. Coastal Restoration Society

  9. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

  10. Greenwave Environmental Consulting

  11. Sea Legacy

  12. Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards

According to a study from ocean conservancy and environmental groups called Environment and Climate Change Canada. They reported Canada’s plastics recycling rate is 9%[1].

So Canada landfills or burns 91% or 2.93 million tonnes of the waste plastic generated each year. Therefore Canada’s rivers, lakes and oceans receive an additional 29,000 metric tonnes of plastic litter. Finally and thereby the equivalent of 9.7 billion coffee cup lids. 

Furthermore, the scientific evidence of environmental impacts of this plastic pollution is clear. So a systematic review of data from 139 lab and field studies by researchers at the University of Toronto concluded, “…that there is evidence that plastic pollution of all shapes and sizes can affect organisms across all levels of biological organization. There is therefore no doubt that plastic pollution has an impact on wildlife. Also consequently, there is compelling evidence suggesting macroplastics are already impacting marine populations, species, and ecosystems.”

On May 212019 the European Union took decisive action against plastic pollution stating that 80 to 85% of marine litter aka beach litter is plastic. That’s with single-use plastic items being 50% and fishing-related items representing 27% of the total. So single-use plastic products and fishing gear containing plastic are therefore a particularly serious problem. All as a result in the context of marine litter. Thereby posing a severe risk to marine ecosystems. That’s to our biodiversity and to human health. As well as damage activities such as tourism, fisheries and shipping.

In addition to plastic pollution Canada’s failure to recycle plastics results in over 1.8 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases[2]as more plastic is made to replace what is lost to landfills, incinerators. Finally and above all, this adds even more greenhouse gases into our rivers, lakes and oceans. Furthermore or what is shipped to unwitting developing nations.

Sources: The Ocean Legacy Foundation and Surfrider Foundation Canada of which both are ocean conservancy and environmental groups

Learn More:                                                                             

https://oceanlegacy.ca/                                                                           

https://pacificrim.surfrider.org/                                                 

https://vancouverisland.surfrider.org/                                          

http://www.vancouverbc.surfrider.org/                                          


[1]2018 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited for Environment Canada and Climate Change

[2]Ibid. Ref. 1