Single-use food packaging waste nearly doubled during pandemic

One-use food items and beverage container squander uncovered on Canadian coasts just about doubled throughout the peak of COVID-19. This is according to the 2020 “Dirty Dozen” report prepared by the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. About 15,000 volunteers helped clear 41,000 kilograms of litter from the Canadian shorelines in 2020.

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“We were being startled to see that one-use meals and beverage litter amplified from 15.3 per cent of all litter in 2019 to 26.6 per cent in 2020,” mentioned Julia Wakeling, outreach specialist for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. “We suspect the improve could be one particular of the quite a few implications of COVID-19, which includes much more men and women purchasing cafe takeaway and consuming additional individually packaged foods.”

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The report also recorded the presence of experience masks in the waste cleaned up from shorelines for the initially time. For the 27 decades that the software has been working, facial area masks have never ever been recorded as element of the waste.

diagram of types of litter found on Canadian beaches in 2020

“We didn’t have a group on our facts cards final calendar year to formally track the sum of PPE-related litter volunteers ended up discovering, but we have added just one for 2021,” Wakeling mentioned. “This year’s success will be incredibly attention-grabbing.”

The organization is now urging Canadians to participate in cleanups in 2021 with the hope of covering up for the dropped time all through the pandemic. In 2020, the software seasoned a 70% drop in the quantity of volunteers and also experienced to prevent cleanup situations for about 4 months. The organizers have executed steps to shield volunteers from COVID-19 though concentrating on to increase waste selection.

“Pollution, specifically plastic pollution, is one particular of the finest threats facing our ocean, but it is a risk we can tackle jointly,” said Lasse Gustavsson, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. “Plastic has become omnipresent in our day by day life and but each conclusion we make at operate, at residence, at faculty or out and about, has the opportunity to have a constructive impression.”

The Good Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a partnership involving the Environment Wildlife Fund Canada and Ocean Sensible with the aim of conserving mother nature. The program brings jointly volunteers from across Canada to help with cleanup activities.

+ Good Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Pictures by means of Cristiano Pinto and Fantastic Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

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