Written by Adrian Midwood, Executive Director | [email protected]

We hope everyone has come through the recent past months in health and with a happy heart. In these trying times, it’s been extremely difficult to get a clear understanding of what we CAN do this year.

We hope this year on World Oceans Day, and with our economy reopening, everyone can take a step back and embrace whatever new normal is right for them.

World Oceans Day to kick off our Make Canada Clean Again initiative.

What has now become a global initiative, World Oceans Day was founded by our very own Canadian International Centre for Ocean Development!

A common sight on remote shorelines.

I actually wasn’t aware of this fact until recently. With shelter in place regulations and being forced to cancel 72 public events across our beautiful nation, we set our sights on announcing our long term initiative on this widely recognized day.

The usual internet search ensued on what makes this day important, and low and behold Wikipedia broke the news with this:

World Oceans Day takes place annually on the 8th of June. The concept was originally proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[1] World Oceans Day was officially recognised by the United Nations in 2008. The International day supports the implementation of worldwide Sustainability Development Goals, and fosters public interest in the management of the ocean and its resources.”

The United Nations tells us:

“We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. … In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.”

When you work for an organization with the word “Oceans” in it, landlocked citizens often forget how the ocean is truly downhill from everywhere. Here’s a couple fun facts about Canada:

  • 243,042 kms of coastline, the largest in the world
  • 8,500 rivers
  • 2,000,000 + lakes
  • 3 oceans
  • 20% of the world’s fresh water

Our waterways are alive, feed our entire ecosystem, employ countless Canadians and are the lifeblood of this nation.

We have a strong culture in conservation in Canada, take a look at our Plastics Organizations database on our home page and be sure to check out CANOES Ocean Literacy resources for more on how to get involved in your hometown.

Volunteers at a PO cleanup

So what are we at Plastic Oceans Canada doing about it?

We are starting the process of Remote Shoreline Cleanups and Engaging Circular Economy Solutions to clean Canada coast to coast to coast.

Taking into consideration these unprecedented times, we are not expecting donations, however, every dollar donated through Canada Helps this month enters us in the draw for $20,000 with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge

Our true initiative for support comes with a little retail therapy. In the form of a Recycled Plastic Trucker hat

Our direct focus is to start the process of cleaning Canada coast to coast to coast focusing on remote and uninhabited shorelines.

Then, engage circular economy solutions with all the materials we collect.

  • End of life plastics will become alternative fuels that can power the vessel and vehicles employed for future clean-ups.
  • Value plastics will become second life products with partner projects in Canada.

With all of this in mind, we decided to invite you to help us “Make Canada Clean Again.” For $30 including shipping anywhere in Canada, you can be part of the solution by:

  • Supporting a circular economy repurposed plastic hat.
  • Help us perform remote and uninhabited shoreline cleanups.
  • Engage local circular economy solutions to value all waste plastics collected, avoiding waste to landfills and eventually back in our oceans.
  • A full report on the feasibility of cleaning Canada’s coast.
  • A short documentary piece telling the story of the great people we work with along the way.

Recycled Plastic Hat

With the Run Against Plastic off for this year, we are keeping up with our favorite cross Canada runner/litter picker upper on his local, home province efforts back and forth/up and down British Columbia. Be sure to follow @millionbottlepledge to see what Andy is getting up to and hopefully inspire you to do the same in your neighborhood.

We were unable to run our intended tour meeting up with some of Canada’s local heroes and organizations on the ground. However, we have started a virtual tour blog series featuring each province we intended to visit. Head over to our Blog page to learn more.

@millionbottlepledge high in the Rocky Mountains.

For more positive news and inspiration from around the world, be sure to check out what our global family is up to at our Chile, European, Mexico and International head office in the USA!

Thanks again everyone for your continued support over this trying time, we hope everyone is safe and their families are well!

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