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:
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:
Also, opt for plastic alternatives like the following: