Plastic pollution is found in every corner of the globe, from the deepest ocean trenches to the remotest arctic regions. Plastics do not biodegrade, but persist in the environment for hundreds of years, then break down in tiny pieces called micro plastics. These plastic particles make their way into our food, our water, and even into us.
To protect marine animals, defend a healthy environment and stop plastics piling up around us, governments, businesses and individuals all have a role to play. Governments must ban toxic and tough to recycle products, and create laws aimed at reducing plastic waste, eliminating throwaway plastics, and increasing recycling. Businesses must commit to reducing their plastic packaging. And individuals must do their part to support the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Towards a Zero Plastic Waste Canada
Canada needs a national strategy to deal with our plastic pollution crisis. We are working towards a plastic waste free environment by 2025
Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Pepsi: take back your trash. Support a deposit return program in Ontario now!
In Ontario, big beverage companies like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Pepsi sell about 3 billion plastic bottles every year.
Less than half of those bottles get recycled. That’s over 1.5 billion bottles that end up in landfills or in our environment, including the Great Lakes. It’s time for Ontario to get with the (deposit return) program.
Toolkit for Change
Guides to reducing plastic in your life and your community, and to challenging decision-makers to do more. Check out our fast fact sheets and visual guides, and then share your achievements with our community of change makers.
Read The Plastic Diaries
Break free from this plastic bubble. Check out our blog page for new and updated content to answer all your questions about plastic and where we fit in.
Mythbusting 5/5: Plastic pollution is our fault
It’s easy to feel responsible for the plastic mess we find ourselves in and naturally, we feel a sense of responsibility to clean it up....Learn More
Mythbusting 4/5: Burning plastic for energy is a great solution to end plastic pollution
From spewing harmful chemicals into our air to contributing to climate change, burning plastic waste is not a sustainable solution to end plastic pollution. The world...Learn More
Rome wasn’t built in a day and #PlasticFreeJuly won’t end plastic pollution - but it’s a good start!
With #PlasticFreeJuly coming to an end, it’s time to step back and think about why this month exists in the first place. It is the...Learn More
Mythbusting 3/5: Plastic only pollutes the oceans
Yes, our oceans are drowning in plastic waste but it doesn’t end there. From the Great Lakes to the food we eat and the air...Learn More
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Big problems require big solutions, and all of us can help make the changes we want to see. By signing petitions and attending events, you can make your voice heard and help to affect change.
In June, the Canadian government announced its commitments to help reduce plastic waste, including banning single-use plastics (like bags and cutlery) by 2021 and extended producer responsibility.
The Canadian Government used its G7 presidency to lead the creation of a an international charter on plastic waste. The Charter was signed by five G7 nations, who committed to taking action to reduce their plastic waste.
A sculpture designed by artist Rebecca Jane Houston went on display at Toronto's Pride Parade in June, to amaze visitors with the scale of Ontario's plastic bottle problem. 12,000 represents the number of bottles thrown out in the province every four minutes.
In June, we brought together a group of over 40 environmental and civil societies groups to release the Towards a Zero Plastic Waste Future Declaration, a roadmap for Canada to reach zero plastic waste by 2025.
"Seeing the amount of plastics that end up on our beaches reminds me of how powerful it is to avoid single-use waste like take-out cups, and replace them with reusables. Our actions can be amplified with strong environmental laws. That's why I support Environmental Defence's aim of getting manufacturers to take responsibility for their own products, and reducing Canada's plastic waste."
-Sophie Jacazio, Environmental Defence Outreach Team member
MEET THE TEAM
At Environmental Defence, we educate the public about a host of environmental issues, work with business and government leaders to advise on policy decisions and mobilize Canadians to create the cleaner, greener more prosperous country we’re striving for. Meet the team who works on Plastics.
Join The Community
Change happens when people like you express your concern and make your voice heard. Join our email community to receive updates about Environmental Defence’s work and find ways you can help our efforts to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.