Every year, some 10,000 tonnes of plastic pollution flows into the Great Lakes.
This source of drinking water for millions of people- in Canada and the US- has a higher concentration of plastic pollution than the ocean garbage patches. Big Plastic shamelessly places the blame on others
- like litterbugs, municipal waste management, and even the Global South -when the reality is that there's too much plastic being made, used (once or twice) and thrown away with nowhere to go but landfills, incinerators ... and too often straight into our environment and the Great Lakes.
Despite increased pressure from Big Plastic to stop action on plastic pollution, Canada has committed to reaching zero plastic waste by 2030 but it needs to move quickly.
The federal government already released final regulations to ban six harmful single-use plastics by the end of 2022. It's a good start but it's not enough to curb the wave of plastic pollution filling up waterways and the Great Lakes. It's time for the federal government to:
This Plastic Free July, urge Canada to protect the Great Lakes from plastic pollution.
- Expand the bans to include more harmful single-use plastics;
- Require reusable packaging and make it affordable and widely available;
- Reject false solutions, including the burning of plastic waste as fuel;
- Protect our waterways from spills of plastic manufacturing pellets.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Guilbeault:
I am relieved that the regulations to ban six single-use plastics will start coming into effect by the end of this year and include a ban on the export of these harmful products.
It's a good start but there's more to do.
I wholly support your government's goal of ending plastic pollution by 2030. But we won't get there without further bans on harmful and unnecessary single-use plastics, support for reusable packaging as an environmentally-sound alternative, and a commitment to phase out toxic additives and non-recyclable plastics.
Your government must step up action to turn the plastic tide. The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development recently forecast that plastic waste around the world will triple by 2060 unless countries take action to reduce plastic use.
Canadians are big producers and users of plastic and generate more than 4 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Every day across Canada, more than 11,000 tonnes of plastic waste are sent to landfills and incinerators or are littered and eventually end up in our rivers, lakes and oceans. We must be leaders in the global fight against the pollution crisis.
That's why I'm calling for an ambitious action plan to 2030 that:
- Bans more harmful single-use plastic as soon as possible
- Phases out all non-recyclable plastics
- Eliminates toxic plastic additives
- Supports local reuse systems to help transition away from single-use packaging
- Protects our waterways and environment from spills of pellets used in plastic production
- Rejects false solutions like plastic waste-to-fuel and waste-to-energy