Stop Big Plastic from flooding our oceans with plastic
Canada needs a strong ban on single-use plastics
Call on the government to stand up to the plastic industry
Now is the time to demand that our government stand up to Big Plastic and cut this harmful pollutant off at the source by strengthening the proposed ban on unnecessary single-use plastics.
Ninety per cent of people across Canada support a ban on single-use plastics and two-thirds want to see the proposed ban expanded to include more harmful plastic products.
Earlier this spring, Canada declared plastics Toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The next step is for the government to finalize the ban. This is a critical opportunity to reduce plastic production and use. We must ensure that the plastic industry is held accountable and that consumers aren’t left responsible for the growing global plastic pollution crisis. Unsurprisingly, the plastic industry is trying to fight the laws that would hold them accountable; we can’t let them win.
Plastics are Everywhere
Tens of thousands of individual marine organisms have been observed suffering from entanglement or ingestion of plastics – from zooplankton, corals and fish, to sea turtles, seals, whales and seabirds. Plastics never go away. Instead they break down into smaller and smaller pieces, which act as magnets for harmful pollutants and chemicals. When eaten by fish, some of these contaminated microplastics work their way up the food chain and into our food supply. It is estimated that humans consume approximately one credit card worth of plastic each week.
The problem is only growing. Global production of plastic is increasing. It has nearly doubled since the start of the millennium and it’s expected to increase at least fourfold by 2050. To solve this crisis, we must significantly reduce the use of single-use and disposable plastics at its source.
Plastics in Canada
Although Canadians make up less than 0.5 per cent of the global population, we use 1.4 per cent of all plastics produced. In 2010, Canada produced nine times more plastic waste per person than India, up to 3.6 times more than some countries in Southeast Asia and up to twice that of some Scandinavian countries.
And our consumption keeps growing. Canada currently uses 4.6 million tonnes of plastics every year — roughly 125 kilograms per person. Experts predict that by 2030, that number will grow to more than six million tonnes per year.
For decades, wealthier nations like Canada have been sending plastic waste to less wealthy nations, countries that often do not have robust waste management systems. From 1988 to 2016, Canada shipped almost four million tonnes of plastics abroad, mostly to Asia. That’s like shipping 800 blue whales every year for 29 years.
Canada is part of the problem, so we must be part of the solution. Canadians want plastic-free choices. Eighty-six per cent of Canadians say they support a single-use plastic ban.
Canada has committed to help solve this plastic crisis. Oceana Canada is calling on our government to live up to its promise to ban unnecessary single-use plastics by 2021.