Ocean debris has been found to affect at least 800 species. Marine and coastal animals are impacted by this pollution, often with devastating consequences.
Three quarters of marine debris is plastic, which breaks into microplastics. Microplastics absorb and release contaminants, which can disrupt the food chain.
Plastic waste has substantially increased since the 1950s. Global estimates for plastic waste indicate that 192 countries generated 275 million tonnes of waste in 2010.
Source: UN News
Why Take the Challenge?
Past Monthly Challenges
In the city of Vancouver, British Columbia alone, about 2.6 million disposable coffee cups enter city landfills every week. Skip the plastic-lined paper cup and pledge to bring your own mug when it comes to your daily java.
Month 2: Eating Out
A study of 4 coastal U.S. cities found that takeout food and drink packaging makes up 67 per cent of our disposable plastic trash. Pledge to reduce your single use plastic by carrying a reusable container and cutlery when you order takeout.
Month 3: Quench Your Thirst
Around the world, 1 million water bottles are sold every minute. Fewer than half of these are recycled and can end up in the ocean. Pledge to change the way you quench your thirst by using a reusable drink container where you go.
Month 4: Get Outside & Play
Half of all plastics produced are used to make items designed to be used once then thrown away. Join Ocean Wise® and MEC in the latest fitness craze of plogging – picking up litter while jogging. Whether you run, walk, hike, camp or paddle, take the #BePlasticWise challenge to get outside and pick up litter wherever you play.
Month 5: Cut the Strap
Plastic six-pack rings, straps and other single use plastic packaging can entangle, lacerate or suffocate ocean animals. Take the challenge to Cut the Strap by buying your beer in a refillable growler rather than plastic six-pack rings. Skip products bundled in plastic straps that can entrap animals. And choose alternatives to other harmful throwaway plastic packaging
Month 6: Clean a shoreline
Imagine plastic straws stacked end-to-end and measuring 145 times the height of New York’s One World Trade Center. That’s how many straws were picked up from global shorelines last year. More than an eyesore, shoreline litter poses threats to ocean life. Join Ocean Wise and the Fraser Port Authority in this month’s challenge to #BePlasticWise and Clean a Shoreline, wherever land meets water.
Month 7: Keep single use plastic out of your lunches
Why steer clear of single use plastic items when packing a lunch? Because swearing off them makes a difference to the health of our ocean and the animals who depend on it.
Month 8: Reduce the single use plastic in your bathroom
Plastic surrounds you in the bathroom, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Shop carefully for your personal care items, reduce their number and reuse containers to cut down on single use plastic.
Month 9: Shrink Your Shedding
Reduce the plastic shedding in the laundry-room. Synthetic clothing can shed hundreds of millions of fibres per week in the washing machine. Launder it less frequently, more gently, with liquid detergent.
Month 10: Green Giving
Keep the ocean in mind when giving presents. Green gifting options lighten the load on our waterways and help you spread the word about the problem of plastic litter.
Month 11: Cleaning House
Reduce my single use plastic when I buy household cleaning products. Refill and reuse household cleaner containers, or use homemade products stored in containers that are reusable.
Month 12: Reduce Plastic While Shopping
Reduce single-use plastic when buying groceries. Plan ahead, buy in bulk, and take your own reusable bag, including smaller bags for items bought in groups, like fruits and vegetables.