The problems of plastic pollution just keeps growing causing misery for thousands of animals , destroying ego systems and impacting our oceans and waterways.
We have all seen the pictures of dead whales and birds with plastics in their stomachs or plastic that becomes wrapped around animals causing a slow, painful death and beaches strewn with garbage from one end to the other. The question is no longer “How did we allow this to happen?” but becomes” How do we clean it up?”
BCWI is campaigning against One Use Plastics exactly for this reason. We want to be a part of the clean up, which starts with education and awareness. We are asking all our branches to take this issue very seriously and don’t be mislead by thinking that Canada does not have a plastic problem.
- 86 BILLION plastic bags are used in Canada yearly, that is 200 for every person
- World wide every year 5 TRILLION disposable plastic bags are used
- World wide 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute
- Less than 11% of Canada plastics get recycled
- The cost of making plastic is cheap, recycling is costly, dumping plastics is free
- Plastic does not bio-degrade. It breaks down slowly into microplastics which because of their size can avoid filtration and end up in the water systems. Plastics are made up of crude oil and other carbon compounds which then can be get ingested by animals. Once consumed these chemicals than leach into the tissues. We eat fish and other animals that are consuming plastic, so this plastic is also in our systems.
What Can We Do?
– Reduce, Reduce, Reduce and if you cannot reuse it refuse it!!
- Don’t use plastic drinking bottles or plastic straws
- Use reusable cloth shopping bags and mesh bags for vegetables
- Put pressure of food suppliers to not use plastics
- Bring your own coffee cup
- Stop using plastic cutlery, bring your own
- Pick up plastic garbage when you see it
- Become educated, un.org. www.plasticoceans.org, www.environmentaldefence.ca , these are just a few of the organizations that are working hard to clean up our planet
“The message is simple, reject single-use plastic. Refuse what you can’t re-use. Together we can chart a path to a cleaner, greener world.” Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, www.un.org
Brenda Devauld, BCWI Director
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