The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Initiative (GLPC) recently welcomed NOVA Chemicals Corporation as its lead corporate sponsor. As one of the largest Canadian petrochemical companies, NOVA Chemicals seeks to be a catalyst for change to address the challenge of plastic waste in the environment and waterways at home and around the world.

Launched on August 27, 2020, the GLPC aims to combine innovative capture and clean-up technologies to remove plastics from the Great Lakes with messaging to communities and consumers (with an initial focus on Ontario) about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling material waste.

“It takes all of us to shape a world that is better tomorrow than it is today. So we are excited to join the Council of the Great Lakes Region, Pollution Probe, Environment and Climate Change Canada, regional marinas and academic institutions on cleaning up our waterways. Ensuring the long-term environmental health of this public waterway is important to us all,” said Luis Sierra, president and CEO of NOVA Chemicals.

This represents the largest deployment of Seabin and LittaTrap™ cleanup and capture technology in the world, in a region where immediate action on plastic pollution is critically important. This sponsorship will help bring two more marinas – Andrew S. Brandt Marina at Sarnia Bay and Bridgeview Marina – from the Sarnia-Lambton area into the GLPC Initiative, bringing the total number of marinas participating to date to 13.

The Great Lakes suffer from high levels of plastic pollution – in some locations, concentrations of plastic in the lakes are greater even than those recorded in ocean garbage patches. Shoreline cleanups show that plastic accounts for around 80 percent of the litter found on Great Lakes shorelines.  It is estimated that approximately 10,000 tonnes of plastic enters the lakes and their surrounding waterways each year from Canada and the United States.

As part of the GLPC, being implemented over the next five years, Seabin and LittaTrap™ capture technologies will collect debris throughout the spring, summer and fall months. The debris will be analyzed, and both marina-specific and aggregate results will be profiled on the GLPC website in order to further our understanding of the plastic pollution problem throughout the Great Lakes and what can be done by government, industry and citizens to prevent plastic from reaching the lakes in the future.

“We’re pleased to have NOVA Chemicals on board for this initiative,” said Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe. “We need industry engaged to bring an end to plastic pollution and the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup will benefit enormously from the support of a company that is demonstrating leadership and has strong ties to Great Lakes communities.”

The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup was founded by the Council of the Great Lakes RegionPollution ProbeBoating Ontario, the University of Toronto Trash Team, and PortsToronto.

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