Canadians want Liberal government to take real action on plastic in our oceans

OTTAWA – Today, NDP MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) delivered a petition to the office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change just days ahead of the G7 meeting in Quebec. The petition, hosted online by SumOfUs, has been signed by over 105,000 Canadians in support of Johns’ motion, M-151: A National Strategy to Combat Plastic Pollution in Our Aquatic Environments. 

“Single-use plastics are a part of everyday life and around eighty percent of all plastic in the ocean comes from land-based sources. Ninety-five percent of single-use plastics, such as coffee lids, plastic bags, and plastic drinking straws are used once and discarded,” said Johns. “From organizing beach cleanups to offering substitutions for plastic straws in cafes and restaurants, Canadians are calling on the federal government to act immediately, ban single-use plastics and support my motion. We’ve heard enough talk – it’s time to take action now!”

The Prime Minister has announced that Canada will lead a discussion at the G7 meeting on the reduction of plastic pollution in our waters. Yet, Canadians are concerned that the Liberals have failed to take any concrete action to combat this critical environmental issue at home, and are not confident that Canada has shown the necessary leadership on the environment to effectively lead these discussions.

"SumOfUs members in Canada are demanding immediate action on the plastics crisis,” said Amelia Meister, Campaign Consultant at SumOfUs, who joined Johns in delivering the petition to the Minister. “Canadians toss out a massive amount of plastic made by corporations every year, including almost 3 billion plastic bags. Much of this plastic ends up in the ocean where it causes serious harm to marine animals. Motion M-151 would help tackle plastic pollution at its source, especially targeting single-use plastics, and provide much-needed funding for shoreline and ocean clean-up."

A poll published today by Abacus Data indicated that one-third of Canadians agreed that plastic garbage in our waterways is one of the most important environmental issues.