Thousands of Canadians to tackle plastic pollution across the country

Governance, World

Around the world, people and companies throw away more than $100 billion worth of plastic packaging each year. Plastic waste and marine litter, including microplastics, pose a serious threat to the health of our ecosystems, wildlife and economies.

In fact, 8 million tonnes of plastic flow into our oceans every year—the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute. This reality is alarming.

Keeping all of our waters and shorelines clean of debris is important for a healthy environment for Canadians, today and tomorrow. This is why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, travelled across Canada this summer to encourage Canadians to beat plastic pollution. Now she is launching the Community Cleanup, a call for Canadians to clean up plastics from their local shorelines, parks and neighbourhoods.

The Community Cleanup will start on September 8. Canadians are encouraged to connect with their local MPs to organize community plastic cleanups. Throughout the week, schools, businesses and citizens can organize their own cleanups. On September 15—International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day—there will be three major events, in VancouverToronto and Halifax, through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, supported by the Government of Canada. People from around the world will come together to collect and document the trash on shorelines. You can join or lead a cleanup, on your own or through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, anytime and anywhere in Canada. It is important to register with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to contribute to global and Canadian data by recording what you find.

Halifax will also be the location of this year’s G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministers Meeting, on September 19 to 21. The Canada-led Ocean Plastics Charter was signed during the G7 leaders summit in Charlevoix, where international partners committed to removing debris from coasts and shorelines. Canada is determined to lead in this effort. And together, we can eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter in our own country and around the world.

“Our lakes, rivers, oceans and waterways are a big part of Canada’s natural legacy. And it’s important that we protect these spaces from the growing plastic-pollution problem. On September 8, I encourage Canadians across the country to do their part and take action in their communities,” says Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

 

Quick facts

  • Throughout 2018, Canada has served as president of the G7, a group of the world’s largest advanced economies.
  • About half of all the plastics ever manufactured were made since 2000. The global production of plastics has been faster than most man-made materials.
  • As of 2015, about 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste have been generated globally, with about 79 per cent of that amount ending up in landfills or the environment.
  • Only about 11 per cent of plastics are recycled in Canada. In 2010, Canada released into the oceans from land 8000 tonnes of plastic—the weight of 75 blue whales.
  • Over 90 per cent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

Regulations for trucks, buses, and large vehicles cut pollution, improve air quality, and boost competitiveness

Earth, Governance

The Government of Canada is delivering on its promise to fight climate change, reduce pollution, and make investments to improve the health of communities while growing the economy.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced new carbon-pollution regulations for heavy-duty vehicles, starting in 2020, and the regulations will become increasingly stringent in the years ahead. By reducing emissions from school buses, transport tractors and trailers, garbage trucks, delivery vans, and larger pick-up trucks, these regulations will make our air cleaner and our communities healthier while helping transportation companies save money. The regulations will promote clean innovation and support good middle-class jobs.

The regulations will also reduce trucking costs for moving goods in Canada, helping the transportation sector become more competitive by saving new vehicle owners approximately $1.7 billion in fuel costs annually, by 2030, and by reducing the cost of transporting goods and materials to customers in Canada and in international markets. The approach will keep Canada globally competitive while protecting the environment.

In Canada, carbon pollution from heavy-duty vehicles has almost tripled since 1990. Today, it is comparable to emissions from coal-fired electricity. These regulations will decrease the growth of carbon pollution from this part of our transportation sector.

Reducing pollution from heavy-duty vehicles is also an important part of Canada’sclean-growth and climate action plan. The new standards for heavy-duty vehicles will reduce carbon pollution by approximately 6 million tonnes a year by 2030, which is comparable to taking about 1.5 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

Canada’s regulations are designed to promote innovation and provide flexibility to industry to choose the most cost-effective compliance options. Heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers will have the flexibility to choose the clean technologies that will increase their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions and operating costs.

Quotes

“The environment and the economy go hand in hand. Large vehicles are an important part of Canada’s economy—we rely on them to get kids to school, move goods to customers, and keep our neighbourhoods clean. They also contribute to smog and carbon pollution, which harm our health and our environment. With these new regulations, we are making the air cleaner and fighting climate change while helping businesses compete and grow and supporting jobs for middle-class Canadians.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • Currently, heavy-duty vehicle emissions account for 9 percent of Canada’s total emissions.
  • Introducing new heavy-duty vehicle regulations and making investments in low-carbon transportation are important parts of Canada’s climate action plan to meet its Paris Agreement commitments.
  • Canada is also phasing in the implementation of regulations to provide more lead time for industry to maximize investments in new technology and upgrade existing facilities.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada has consulted with Canadians and industry stakeholders on the development of new heavy-duty vehicle emissions regulations, since 2014.
  • The Government of Canada is also supporting the transportation industry through Budget 2017’s investment of $10.1 billion in trade and transportation projects over the next decade. This investment will help build stronger, more efficient transportation corridors to international markets and will enable Canadian businesses to compete and grow while creating more jobs for Canada’s middle class.