Canada’s shorelines Are Choking On Garbage but there are simple solutions you can put in place to help.



There is a lot of talk about the plastic garbage in the ocean. If you follow any eco-minded blogger, writer, journalist or activist, you’ve seen the picture of a turtle having a plastic straw pulled out of its nose, dead birds decaying bodies filled with plastic and a whales (a majestic beast) open belly, filled to the brim with, with, you guessed it PLASTIC!! 

Are you enraged? I am!

Single-use plastic items like straws, knives, forks, those plastic round things that hold beer together, toothbrushes, spoons, toys, pens, etc. are literally choking our oceans and planet.

But did you know that right here in Canada, our Shorelines are facing major issue thanks to tiny trash, according to data released by The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, volunteers from 1,849 cleanups covered more than 2,800 kilometres of shoreline in 2017 and collected over 330,000 pieces of tiny plastic and foam.

Here is the official statement: 

VANCOUVER, Feb. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tiny plastic and foam fragments topped the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s annual “Dirty Dozen” list, which reports on the types of litter most commonly found on Canada’s marine and freshwater shores.

More than 330,000 tiny pieces of plastic and foam debris were collected by Shoreline Cleanup volunteers from 1,849 cleanups that covered more than 2,800 kilometres of shoreline in 2017.

Plastic bottles, caps and bags were also high on the list of offenders. Around the world, the equivalent of one dump truck load of plastic enters the oceans every minute, impacting hundreds of marine species.

“Once in the water, plastic never goes away. It breaks up into increasingly smaller pieces known as microplastics that are next to impossible to remove, and are found throughout the food chain, from tiny zooplankton to marine mammals,” says Rachel Schoeler, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup manager. “That’s why we’re working to keep shorelines clean. To stop plastic from entering the water in the first place.”

Last year alone more than 58,000 people removed 88,700 kilograms of garbage that otherwise would have entered the water, impacting wildlife and ecosystems. Citizen science data, collected by Shoreline Cleanup volunteers, is shared with the International Coastal Cleanup to help support scientific research on marine and coastal pollution.

Tiny pieces of plastic and foam have been found along Canada’s shorelines in large numbers, according to an environmental organization. (The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup)


And what took the number 1 spot in Toronto? Cigarette Butts. Topping the city’s local Dirty Dozen list at 49,124 gathered over the past year. Tiny plastic and foam came in second with 31,529 pieces thrown away.

There was no explanation for why the city had different statistics than the rest of the country.

It could be that fact that Lake Ontario shoreline in and around Toronto was a popular spot to have cleanup events, with around 7,500 volunteers taking part last year.

There is an amazing interactive map here.

I am very disturbed by these facts, it’s simply unacceptable, I feel like yelling this from the mountaintop. STOP USING PLASTIC!


More numbers to mull over:

Plastic on Canadian Shorelines

Dirty Dozen 2017
1.            Tiny Plastic and Foam – 333,289

2.            Cigarette Butts – 244,734

3.            Plastic Bottles – 50,285

4.            Food Wrappers – 47,466

5.            Bottle Caps – 38,624

6.            Paper materials – 22,877

7.            Plastic Bags – 22,724

8.            Miscellaneous Packaging – 18,465

9.            Straws – 17,654

10.          Foam Materials – 17,527

11.          Beverage Cans – 17,337

12.          Rope (1 piece = 1 metre) – 11,365


If you don’t know what to buy, you can start here:

6 Useful Tools For Every Green Kitchen

How To Live More Sustainability, Practical Tips From Top Bloggers! 

Also, opt for plastic alternatives like the following:

Credo Bags


The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation partnership by Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups.  Join thousands of volunteers helping to keep our shorelines healthy. Register today and find out more at


Canada's shorelines Are Choking On Garbage do

Canada’s shorelines Are Choking On Garbage, do you have any simple solutions we can put in place to help this situation?

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Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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