Earlier this year Canada announced plans to use its G7 presidency to advance action on plastic pollution. And in June, at the G7 Leaders Summit, five of the seven countries (Canada, the U.K., France, Italy and Germany) and the European Union signed-on to the Ocean Plastics Charter.
The Charter recognizes the threat of plastic pollution in our oceans and environment, and commits the countries to supporting better design, collection, and management of plastics throughout their lifecycle. Of course, as with most international agreements, the Charter is open to interpretation. What really matters is how the Charter is implemented at home in each country.
Speaking of which, Canada doesn’t actually have a national strategy to deal with plastic waste. But the federal government has announced plans to establish one. Earlier this year they invited Canadians to provide ideas about how to reduce plastic waste, and now they’re working through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) to draft a strategy with the support of the provinces and territories.
We have a rare opportunity to address plastic waste issues at a national scale. We need to push government to ensure the plan provides the regulatory frameworks that are necessary for real change.
If you want to learn more about Canada’s plastic pollution problem, and what needs to be done to address it, check out our report: Talking Trash – Canada’s Plastic Pollution Problem.
And if you want to take action, sign our petition calling for Canada to create a national strategy that:
- Bans all plastics that can’t be recycled, or contain toxic chemicals;
- Makes producers (like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Tim Horton’s) collect and recycle all of the single-use plastics they put on the market; and
- Stops companies from using virgin fossil resources to make single-use plastic.