In Canada, 91% of plastics are not recycled, making plastic pollution a growing problem for our freshwater ecosystems. As custodians of the largest freshwater reserves globally, Canada has a responsibility to protect them. Until recently, Canadian governments lacked mechanisms to address plastic pollution in freshwater ecosystems. Diving in, Chris, one of Canada’s leading voices on plastic pollution, co-leads the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup (GLPC), the largest initiative of its kind worldwide, to bring together governments and key stakeholders to tackle freshwater plastic pollution.
GLPC uses innovative technology to remove 14,000 Kgs of debris annually. In its first year, ~31% of this was small foam pieces, ~22% was small film pieces, ~21% was small hard fragments, and ~13.5% was small pellets. Removing this waste from our freshwater ecosystems protects the health of a globally declining resource.