G7 ocean plas­tic char­ter ‘not enough’: ad­vo­cates

StarMetro Vancouver - - VANCOUVER - ME­LANIE GREEN

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that five coun­tries en­dorsed a non-bind­ing plas­tics char­ter at the G7 con­fer­ence on Satur­day, Bri­tish Columbia plas­tic pol­lu­tion ad­vo­cates say the move is just not enough.

Canada will in­vest $100 mil­lion to­ward rid­ding the oceans of global marine lit­ter, ac­cord­ing to a fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­lease that touted the move as a step for the en­vi­ron­ment and “for busi­nesses that will ben­e­fit from re­duc­ing the cost as­so­ci­ated with plas­tic use.”

Josh Tem­ple, a cap­tain who founded Clay­oquot Cleanup on the west coast of Van­cou­ver Is­land af­ter notic­ing piles of ocean plas­tics wash up on the shores, told Starmetro he would rather see leg­is­la­tion that holds in­dus­try ac­count­able for waste in wa­ter­ways.

“We are giv­ing them a free pass in the marine en­vi­ron­ment and not ask­ing them to con­trib­ute mean­ing­ful fund­ing to­wards clean­ing it up,” he said. “This cre­ates an un­sus­tain­able and un­equitable agreement.”

Nei­ther the United States nor Ja­pan signed the vol­un­tary agreement.

Min­is­ter Ya­sunari Morino from the Em­bassy of Ja­pan told Starmetro the na­tion shares the ob­jec­tive, how­ever, the char­ter ex­pects coun­tries to in­sti­tute a wide range of reg­u­la­tory mea­sures around plas­tic use and “they in­clude various com­modi­ties used in mod­ern life.”

Read about how other coun­tries’ pol­lu­tion is ef­fect­ing B.C. and how Canada plans to com­bat it at thes­tar.com

Surfrider Foun­da­tion — one of the many non-profit groups in Bri­tish Columbia ded­i­cated to clean­ing up plas­tic and marine de­bris from the shores — par­tic­i­pates in a shore clean up at Wreck Beach.

COUR­TESY OF SURFRIDER FOUN­DA­TION

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