‘Save World’s Oceans’:Canada pushing G7 nations to sign no plastics pledge

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the World Economic Forum Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in Davos, Switzerland. Trudeau says Canada and 10 other countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Canada plans to use its presidency of the G7 this year to push fellow member countries to help stop the oceans from becoming massive rubbish heaps.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trudeau hosted a round table discussion on ocean protection with academics, political representatives and executives from multinationals including Coca-Cola and Unilever.

He told the assembled group Canada is using its G7 year to bring forward issues that don’t always get a lot of attention at the highest levels of international governance, including ocean protection, “particularly around plastics and pollution.”

Later in an interview,Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said that could include creating a “plastics charter or a zero waste goal.”

The problem is no fairy tale message in a single bottle floating across the sea.It’s estimated as much as eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year.

The plastics issue will be a main theme at the G7 leaders’ summit in Charlevoix, Que., in June, with follow-up planned for a G7 environment ministers’ meeting next fall, said McKenna.

Despite a rise in both recycling and composting in Canadian cities and towns, Canadians are still among the most wasteful people in the developed world, with 25 million tonnes of waste ending up in landfills in 2014. Garbage produced by households went up 18 per cent between 2002 and 2014.