Toronto, Ont. – The federal government’s Draft Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution confirms what we already know: plastic pollution is everywhere and that urgent action is needed to stop it.

Plastics are harming wildlife and possibly human health. According to the assessment’s findings, 29,000 tonnes of plastics escape into the environment in Canada annually. All of this plastic pollution is ending up in the food that we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Meanwhile, wildlife are getting entangled in it or are ingesting it, causing injury or even death. The report confirms that harm to wildlife will increase if no action is taken to stop the amount of plastics entering the environment.

While the assessment outlines a need for more science in a few key areas, the government doesn’t need to wait for that science to be completed to take action. Although research is needed to better understand the impacts of microplastics on humans, the report states there is sufficient evidence to take action to reduce macroplastics (such as single-use plastics) and microplastics that end up in the environment.

Canada has shown leadership on this issue by committing to banning certain single-use plastics by 2021. That deadline is fast approaching. If the government actually wants to meet it, it needs to rapidly pick up the pace. Wildlife, human health, and our environment all depend on it.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jen Mayville, Communications Manager, Environmental Defence, jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca, 416-323-9521 ext. 228, cell: 905-330-0172