Government of Canada invests in scientific research on plastics to better understand environmental threats

GATINEAU, QC, May 31, 2021 / CNW / – Plastics have a significant impact on our environment and ecosystems. They pollute our rivers, lakes and oceans, and they are harmful to wildlife and can threaten human health. The government of Canada is committed to achieving zero plastic waste by 2030, and is working to take action to reduce plastic pollution across the country and create a circular economy for plastics. This includes banning certain harmful single-use plastics, where justified and supported by science. The information generated by scientific researchers is essential for plastics policy making and evidence-based decision making as part of our ongoing efforts to protect wildlife and our waters, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect and create jobs.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, announced that the government of Canada provides nearly $ 7 million to support seven scientific research projects. These projects aim to fill knowledge gaps and improve understanding of the threats posed by plastic pollution and help us move towards a cleaner and healthier world.

Among the projects selected are those led by the University of British Columbia, which aims to advance technologies to quantify and characterize microplastics in aquatic environments; the National Institute for Scientific Research, which will assess the potential effects of nanoplastics on human health; and the University of Guelph, which will assess the potential risks microplastics pose to freshwater and soil ecosystems.

This funding is provided through the Plastics Science for a Cleaner Future initiative, supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It is in alignment with From Canada Plastics science agenda and the Scientific assessment of plastic pollution. It is an important part of From Canada full Zero plastic waste agenda.

Canada takes action to protect the environment and reduce plastic pollution across the country with a comprehensive approach. This includes moving to a circular economy that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment through activities such as better product design; higher rates of repair, refurbishment and recycling; and advancing science and community action to reduce plastic pollution.

By following the science to improve plastic management and investing in innovative solutions, we can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year and create approximately 42,000 jobs across the country.


“Canadians can see too clearly that we have a plastic pollution problem, but measuring the specific harms of plastics in our environment requires scientific assessment. Scientific research is fundamental to helping us understand and fight plastic pollution. As science advances, it provides better knowledge to make significant progress in tackling this growing threat through innovation and targeted solutions. ”
– The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Plastic pollution knows no borders, affecting Arctic waters, wildlife and residents of coastal communities.” We are committed to supporting research that will help us better understand the threats posed by plastic pollution and develop evidence-based solutions. Together we are working to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time and help relocate Canada towards zero plastic waste. “
– The Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Congratulations to all of the recipients. NSERC is pleased to partner with Environment and Climate Change Canada to support research projects that will address the effects of plastics on the environment, wildlife and human health in order to create a brighter future. cleaner and healthier for Canada and Canadians. “
Alejandro Adem, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Fast facts

  • Canadians throw away more than three million tonnes of plastic waste each year, which equals 25,000 blue whales.
  • Only nine percent of From Canada plastic items are currently recycled while the rest ends up in landfills, waste-to-energy facilities or the environment.
  • From Canada Plastics Science Agenda (CaPSA) is a call to action for Canadian researchers and research funders from all sectors to work together to address priority knowledge gaps in plastics science. It identifies research opportunities that will strengthen the evidence base for decision making.
  • the Scientific assessment of plastic pollution, Posted in October 2020, summarizes the state of science regarding the potential effects of plastic pollution on the environment and human health. This confirms that plastic pollution is everywhere and has a negative impact on our environment.
  • At May 12, 2021, the final ordinance adding manufactured plastic articles to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act was published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, to address potential ecological risks associated with certain articles made from plastics.

Related links

Environment and Climate Change Canada Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada Facebook page

SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

For further information: Moira Kelly, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-271-6218, [email protected]; Media Relations: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free), [email protected]

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