Canada Day is coming up tomorrow. It’s a great time to go outside and spend some time on the water, but it’s important to be mindful of the impact we have when we’re outdoors. When going down to the beaches and shorelines, there are few small steps everyone should take to keep shorelines clean, so they can be enjoyed safely all summer long.

As part of its “Little Bits, Big Problem” campaign, the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup (GLPC) reminds boaters and beachgoers that simple actions matter in keeping the environment free from plastic litter.

  1. Bring a garbage bag – Before you head down to the beach, make sure to grab some garbage bags so you can collect all your trash without having to seek out a garbage can.
  2. Use alternatives to plastic and reusable products – To minimize your plastic footprint, use plastic alternatives and biodegradable materials. Bring reusable cutlery, water bottles and containers to make sure you don’t leave plastic waste behind.
  3. Keep your bonfires waste-free – While bonfires are a good way to cook and keep warm once the beach gets cold, it is not the place to toss garbage. Burning plastic and other waste can release toxic fumes, and partly burned trash can still end up in the water.
  4. Properly dispose of waste – Learn what belongs where – food wrappers and packaging often belong in the garbage while plastic bottles and containers can be recycled. Dispose waste appropriately and if no bins are available, take the trash home with you.
  5. Clean as you go – When you use plastic or other disposable products, recycle or dispose of them right away. This will ensure everything is thrown away and you won’t have to do a larger cleanup at the end of the day.

The Great Lakes have some of the highest concentrations of plastic litter, big and small, found in the world. Anyone who visits the Great Lakes can take a few small steps to ensure they are kept clean for everyone to enjoy and are protected for future generations.

 

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