Amid growing concerns over plastic waste, Oceania Canada is urging the government to take action against the growing plastic pollution crisis.
Oceana Canada says the federal government must “continue efforts to reduce the amount of harmful single-use plastics that flood our oceans and destroy marine life.”
Earlier this month, the organization called for stricter rules on recycled materials that would increase the availability of refillable and reusable packaging choices and prevent plastic waste from being incinerated.
Burning plastics is known to release harmful emissions into the air, water and soil.
While recycling is often seen as an important way to reduce marine pollution, Oceana Canada says it’s not enough.
According to the organization, only eight per cent of the three million tonnes of plastic produced in Canada is recycled due to the challenges of creating single-use plastics. This leads to more than 90 percent of plastic being burned, either in landfills or in the environment.
“We cannot recycle and incinerate our way out of this disaster,” said Anthony Merant, a plastics campaigner at Oceania Canada, in a statement.
Fresh Reports by Oceana shows that increasing the market for refillable and reusable products by 50% could result in an 83% reduction in ocean plastic pollution.
The federal government recently banned six categories of single-use plastics that are the most common ocean polluters, including plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks, six-pack rings, straws and some take-out containers. are
However, these categories make up only an estimated five percent of Canada’s annual plastic waste.
Despite the steps in the right direction, Oceana says public support is needed for the government to make more changes.
“We need Canadians to join us in fighting the plastic pollution crisis and insist that our government move us away from the unnecessary single-use plastics that harm our planet and to zero plastic waste. Lead to the most viable long-term solutions to achieve: refillable and reusable packaging choices,” says Mirante.
Those who want to help can participate in Plastic Free July by not using single-use plastics this month. Some ways to cut plastic include reusable coffee cups, plastic-free toothbrushes, and buying products without plastic packaging.
Climate change environment plastic waste