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Top Plastic Polluters In Canada Named, With Many Repeat Offenders

Vancouver is banning single-use plastic items

Photo: Magda Ehlers

Greenpeace has announced the names of the top plastic polluters in Canada and, unfortunately, the list has not changed much.

The results were obtained via a brand audit conducted by Greenpeace and several partner groups.

They conducted shoreline clean-ups across the span of several months, collecting 13,822 pieces of polluted plastic. Of those, 1,426 pieces were identifiable and attributable to a brand. The brands whose plastic was found most often:

  1. Nestlé
  2. Tim Hortons
  3. Starbucks
  4. McDonald’s
  5. The Coca-Cola Company

Nestlé and Tim Hortons were atop the 2018 list as well, which also had McDonald’s 5th and the Coca-Cola Company 4th. The only company on last year’s list that wasn’t in this year’s top 5 was PepsiCo., who was replaced by Starbucks.

Similarly, the organization also identified the 10 plastic items that were found most. They were:

  1. Cigarette butts
  2. Bottles and bottle caps
  3. Food wrappers
  4. Straws and stirrers
  5. Cups and lids
  6. Tampon applicators
  7. Foam pieces
  8. Bags
  9. Cutlery
  10. Packaging


Plastic Polluters In Canada

“Our world is choking on throwaway plastic”, says Greenpeace.

According to Greenpeace, less than 9% of plastic gets recycled in Canada, with 86% of it improperly ending up in landfills.

Plastic in and of itself is not the problem. Single-use plastics is where the problem truly lies, as reflected by the list of most commonly polluted plastics.

On its website, Greenpeace encourages people to call out companies on Twitter (politely), add a public review of them on Google, and/or email the companies’ customer service.

I’m skeptical about what that would accomplish, besides virtue signalling.

It’s true that these companies hold a great deal of responsibility. However, it’s not all on them. Companies should be held accountable, but so should consumers.

If you go to Tim Hortons for a coffee once a day, everyday, you play some role in this, too. Properly recycling the cups help, but there’s a reason “recycle” comes after “reduce” and “reuse.”

Have you considered consuming less Starbucks? If that’s too unrealistic for you to accomplish, try something else. Perhaps strive to say “no” to plastic bags. Perhaps opt to bring reusable utensils with you. Start small and go from there.

It’s easy to shout at big corporations. What’s a little harder is looking at ourselves.

For more local Metro Vancouver news, stay tuned to 604 Now News.

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