Toronto, ON –A national eco-journalism competition is giving Canadian youth a chance to share their solutions to an environmental issue affecting all communities across the country: plastic litter and waste. Hosted by Environmental Defence’s YRE Canada program, the theme for this year’s competition is: Your Solution to Plastic Pollution.

“Through YRE Canada, youth have an opportunity to get involved and be a voice for the environment,” said Jennifer Mayville with Environmental Defence. “In the Great Lakes alone, an estimated 80 per cent of human debris is plastic. How youth act and what they buy can have a big impact on the environment and we want them to start thinking about that now.”

For the competition, youth ages 11-14 and 15-18 can submit an article, photo, or video. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2016. Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The winners will be announced in April in time for Earth Day.

Winners will have their submission published online and will win other prizes, including an invitation to participate in an environmental reporting mission and the opportunity to compete in the international Young Reporters for the Environment competition. Every year, the competition receives hundreds of entries from youth from 28 countries. Last year, two Canadian entries received third place in their respective categories.

Interested youth can visit where they can find out more information, including competition and submission details and writing, videography, and photography tips.

ABOUT YRE CANADA ( YRE Canada is a national environmental education program that gives youth the opportunity to be part of the solution by producing creative and engaging environmental journalism. The program is run by Environmental Defence and is sponsored by the Wrigley Foundation.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


For more information, images or interview requests, please contact:
Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell),