The Trudeau government has said it will ban single-use plastics by 2021. We need a strong ban that covers all the problematic and unnecessary plastics…
In Canada, this year was expected to be the year that signalled a shift towards an economy less dependent on single-use plastics. We were going to be told what plastics would be banned in Canada in 2021. But the health crisis has reshuffled the cards and the plastic industry is exploiting people’s fears to undermine efforts to combat plastic pollution.
While we can hope that next year the coronavirus crisis will be behind us, this will not be the case for the plastic pollution and waste crisis.
Single-use plastics pollute our environment, our water, our air. From the extraction of raw materials to their disposal, they pollute at every stage of their lifecycle, impacting the climate, our health, wildlife, and communities living near petrochemical and waste facilities and pollution hot spots.
While the federal government is working on regulations to determine the scope of the measures to reduce single-use plastics and tackle plastic pollution, it is essential that citizen voices be louder than the petrochemical lobby.
Here are five actions you can take:
1. Email the government
Send an email to the federal government to ask for a comprehensive single-use plastics ban list.
2. Spread the word! Explain to your friends and family why the government needs to act now to reduce plastic pollution.
- Download one or more of our images and post them on social networks.
- You can share this message or create your own to invite your friends and followers to call on the government: When the coronavirus crisis will be behind us, this will not be the case for plastic pollution. 2020 was expected to be the year that signalled a shift towards an economy less dependent on single-use plastics. Encourage the government to keep its word >> https://act.gp/3fRE86j
- Don’t forget to tag Greenpeace Canada (on Facebook: @greenpeacecanada; on Twitter: @greenpeaceCA ; on Instagram: @greenpeace_canada)
3. Tell the government what you think on social media
Use social media to send a message to Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage — the trio appointed by Justin Trudeau to chart post-COVID green recovery.
You can use the sample tweets below or craft your own. Don’t forget to add #PlasticFreeFuture and tag @GreenpeaceCA (when possible). You can also add one or more of the images above.
New on Twitter ? You don’t have an account ? Read this or post on Facebook and Instagram.
You can copy and paste the suggested posts below and comment on the latest post on the Facebook pages of Jonathan Wilkinson, Steven Guilbeault or Catherine McKenna. You can also use them as inspiration to write a respectful post of your own. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #PlasticFreeFuture and tag us @greenpeace.canada. Feel free to add some of the images you can find above in this blog too!
Comment on the latest post on Jonathan Wilkinson’s page.
Comment on the latest post on Catherine McKenna’s page.
Comment on the latest post on Steven Guilbeault’s page.
You can use the same sample comments as Facebook on Instagram, on a story or as a comment on the latest post of Jonathan Wilkinson (@jonathanwnv), Catherine McKenna (@cathmckennaottcen) or Steven Guilbeault (@stevenguilbeault).
Don’t forget to tag @greenpeace_canada and to add #PlasticFreeFuture
4. Write an open letter and have it published in your local newspaper
Open letters published in newspapers have an impact on public opinion. This tactic is widely used by advocates that defend the use of single-use plastic: the objective is to use the same channels to support government action, to ensure they combat plastic pollution at the source. Make your opinion known and inspire others to take action.
Here are some facts you can use to write your letter.
Personalize it and express yourself in your own words! A letter of 125 to 350 words is recommended.
- The COVID-19 public health emergency has highlighted the flaws in our economic system that continue to put people and our planet at risk. This system is based on polluting industries and a consumerist culture that feeds, amongst other things, plastic pollution and the climate crisis. Its Impacts on the environment, the oceans and biodiversity have been repeatedly documented.
- Plastic waste continues to accumulate, our recycling systems are crumbling under the influx of waste and plastic pollution is worsening every day worldwide. It is vital to ensure that our governments establish ambitious regulations to govern the production of single-use plastics. Bans on only a few items, such as plastic straws and bags, are insufficient in view of the scale of pollution generated globally. It is time to rethink and improve our systems and to focus on reuse, refill and zero waste solutions.
- As we speak, the Canadian government is preparing the regulations that will form the basis for the long-awaited ban on problematic single-use plastics. This list of single-use plastics to be banned needs to be comprehensive if the government is serious about reducing plastic pollution at the source.
- If this global health crisis COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it is that we need access to essential goods and services in a way that is healthy for us, our communities and our planet. But contrary to what the lobbies tell us, the millions of tonnes of waste created by the use of single-use plastics are not part of the solution.
- We need to stop wasting resources and reorient our economy towards more resilient and circular systems that allow us to create the conditions necessary to reinvent our consumption patterns. Systems that respect the limits of our planet and put people’s health and well-being first.
5. Organize a virtual screening of the documentary The Story of Plastic
Want to know more about the impact of the plastics industry?
The documentary co-produced by Break Free From Plastic and The Story of Stuff — released on April 22nd for Earth Day — is a real eye-opener on the global plastic pollution crisis.
Organize or join a virtual film screening from the comfort of your living room and invite your friends and family to watch The Story of Plastic with you.
Taking action now is the best thing we can do to make sure we shape the low-carbon and plastic-free future we want.