Newsletter: Run Against Plastic, Plastic Initiatives Database & Getting Involved

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Happy New Year Canada! People are calling this the year of clarity, perfect 20/20 vision.

That’s exactly how we intend to take this year on. Our ambitious task of setting out on Canada’s largest consolidated cleanup with the Run Against Plastic, will enable us to meet, collaborate and learn what is needed in our fair country with as many local organizations along the way as possible.

Help us make this dream a reality and contact us for our sponsorship PDF and become a partner.

For January’s Newsletter, we have some superb updates from our team. Ariella talks about our growing database of plastics initiatives across Canada and how YOU can get involved. Rachel takes us to a country that has learned to repurpose what they have and how it has become an iconic symbol of who they are. We get to meet our visiting intern with Sophia. Then finally an update from two of our favourite award-winning youth champions leading the way on legislation and change in the Capital city of British Columbia!

Have a read on what’s happening, and keep up the good fight Canada, we’re definitely feeling the Wave of Change!

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Highlights from Our Staff

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Get Recognized for Fighting Plastic Pollution!

by Ariella Swartz | [email protected]

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Coinciding with our upcoming 2020 initiative Run Against Plastic we are seeking active organizations across Canada who are working on the topics of plastic pollution. However, in order to qualify, plastic pollution doesn’t have to be your organization’s primary focus. Organizations can qualify by participating in a variety of activities.

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Perhaps you’ve led cleanup activities for your local community during the summer months or campaigned your local governments to consider plastic pollution policies. Your organization along with your plastic pollution initiative would be mentioned in our growing Plastic Initiatives Database, currently live on our website. Tying in with our Run Against Plastic campaign, we are looking forward to collaborating with your organization during our events across Canada.

If you’re interested in joining our Plastic Initiatives Database, or you’d like to learn more please email [email protected].

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Repair & Reuse Lifestyle in Cuba

by Rachel Stewart-Dziama  | [email protected]


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Most of the excesses of the 20th century never made it to Cuba. Every time I visit, I notice and appreciate how the locals make do without the material possessions many of us take for granted.

On February 7, 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing a trade embargo against the island nation. The embargo remains in effect today, limiting Cuba’s trade partners and restricting the flow of goods. 

What if you cannot go to a store and buy something new because the products are just not available? You make what you have last; you repurpose, you repair, you reuse. Cubans do this out of necessity. But this ingenuity has become a point of pride, bringing us those classic cars for which Cuba is famous. 

Cubans have a deep pride in their cars. Vehicles are passed down through generations. It’s not necessarily about the brand, rather it is about the craftsmanship and work required to keep a car functioning. 

Repairing vehicles takes time, energy, and commitment. In many other places, these qualities have been lost in the consumer market. Products are advertised for their convenience, not their craftsmanship. Often, when something breaks, it’s thrown away and it’s replaced with something new. The mentality of single-use products, planned obsolescence, and disposability has led us to the issues we are now facing with how to manage plastic waste. 

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In addition to having better recycling systems, we all need to rethink how we purchase and care for our products. There are simple ways to step back from the culture of convenience:

1. Buy products that are well made and will last.

2. Take care of what you own.

3. Use things until they are truly worn out before you replace them.  

If we all consider our choices as consumers more carefully, the planet will thank us. Who knows, along the way we might even create something beautiful, like the classic cars still rumbling down Havana’s streets.

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Introducing our Visiting Intern  

by Sophia Cornelißen  | [email protected]

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Sophia is a Master Student from Hamburg, Germany. She studies full-time Interdisciplinary Nonprofit and Public Studies at the University of Hamburg. Her specialization is the Nonprofit Sector, especially in environmental topics. Always passionate about the ocean she grew up near, she now hops on board at Plastic Oceans Canada. She will contribute the next couple of months to help the organization spread awareness about our worldwide plastic problem.

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Youth Champions, Anastasia & Char  

by Kids For a Plastic Free Canada  

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Anastasia Castro and Char Brady from Kids for a Plastic Free Canada had a busy 2019! The award-winning duo partnered with UVic to recommend restrictions on single-use plastic production in BC. From workshops to presentations, they worked to increase awareness of plastic pollution and encourage sustainable behaviour! We are so impressed with their efforts, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish next!

If you’d like to learn more about what Kids For A Plastic Free Canada have been up to, check out our blog.




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