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Drop the Plastic’s Story

We had the absolute pleasure to interview Melissa from Drop the Plastic. Drop the Plastic is a local not for-profit organization on a mission to promote and protect healthy waterways, biodiversity and human health through the reduction of plastic waste across Canada.

Drop the plastic started out as a small campaign in Vancouver called Drop the Straw. Melissa wanted to target single use plastic straws as her first step. (This was back in 2018.) She started a petition and went door to door to all the local businesses to see if they were supportive of a policy on single use plastic straws. Remember the plastic straw policy that went through recently? It went through due to their petition!!

“We have a plastic problem! We are trying to tackle all plastics that are problematic to our pollution problem. From single use items, like cups, bags, straws to bigger more challenging plastics like fishing nets and things like that in the ocean that have been dumped over the years to even really tiny plastics, called Microplastics that are these little fragments of plastics that are being found everywhere. We have a big challenge ahead of us! Now we need to educate people about it and find creative and innovative ways on tackling it.”

Recycling

As you may know, as of 2018 China banned or seriously restricted foreign waste, had Canadian municipalities struggling to find places to ship their recyclables.

This means that now only about 9% of our plastics are recycled and the rest go to the landfill. This is one of the reasons Drop the Plastic is spreading awareness about our recycling issues, knowing that it isn’t where it should be and we are disposing too many things in the first place.

“Our big goal past education is really to shake government and getting them to implement stricter policies but also the manufacturers. The ones that are producing this catastrophic waste are the companies that are making a lot of money of off these things. The big Nestle, McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s they are the ones that don’t have a lot of responsibility for the waste that they produce and I think if things need to come at a cost it should be coming from them not from the consumer. If we don’t have the facilities to properly dispose it we need to somehow find a way to safely put these plastics somewhere so they are not leaking into our oceans and our land. It’s a big problem that we are trying to tackle.”

We are creating way too much harmful waste.

Another big issue they are addressing, and that Melissa talked about during our interview is how we treat reusable products.

As an individual you can always bring your reusables. You can bring your own mug to coffee shops or your own bag to grocery stores. But the issue is that we have this zero-waste fashion going on. I’m sure we have all done this at some point in our life, where we finally found this amazing eco friendly product and then they offered this same product in a different style and you had to have it. But the reality is that if you have a reusable item, don’t by a new one! “If we keep buying new ones it’s really just as bad as buying disposable things in the first place. It’s important to bring your reusable but don’t buy a new one every month because it’s still part of that consumer culture we are trying to overcome.
Be more mindful of what you buy and reuse what you have and try to consume less. Let’s try to get rid of this disposable industry.”

If you are interested in learning more about Drop the Plastic or would like to be part of this movement, make sure to check out their website and follow them on their social channels! Facebook; Instagram

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