You don’t need to be a professional diver to help reduce marine plastic waste!

Here’s some ways you can help protect our ocean and marine wildlife from plastic debris:

  • Look for ways to reduce your plastic use! Single-use plastics such as bags, cutlery, straws, water bottles, coffee cups, plastic wrap and food packaging can all be replaced with a reusable, more environmentally friendly product. If you can’t avoid using plastic, try to use plastics that are reusable and recyclable.

  • Organize (or join) a clean-up!  Please always consider safety first, and check out some of the resources at the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to help you get started.

  • THINK before you purchase plastic products.  Do you really need that balloon archway for your party? It will look cool on Instagram for one day, and cause a lifetime of pollution. Is your coffee from a plastic pod really that important to you?  Is there an alternative that would produce less plastic waste? Look for products that are not packaged in plastic, or that use recycled plastic.  Always be sure to recycle or dispose of all items responsibly, so that they do not end up in our ocean.

  • While you are at it, why not contribute to citizen science by downloading  the Marine Debris Tracker App ? Use the Placentia Bay Ocean Debris Survey (PODS)  checklist – made specifically for Newfoundland! – to add your findings to other clean-up efforts in Newfoundland, and help researchers better understand the extent and type of coastal debris found in Atlantic Canada.

  • Learn more about plastic waste in your community, and what can be done to reduce it.  For Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, we recommend CLEAR’s Regional Report on Plastic Pollution in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1962-2019. For general information on plastic waste, check out the Plastic Action Centre.

  • Let your elected officials, retailers, and local industries know that reducing plastic waste is important to you. Getting plastic out of our marine environment (and preventing more from going in!) is a benefit for both wildlife and humans. We can all do our part as individuals, but we also need government and industry to lead the way. Consumer and voter pressure is one way to make sure our voices are heard!

Learn more about what the government of Canada is doing to reduce plastic waste, and  the Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste.