Images by Sören Funk

February is Plastic-free Month

Microplastics are the material left behind when plastics decompose. They have been found in human bloodlungs and even in unborn foetuses – a new study in Europe is sparking even more serious concerns about contamination in the food chain. Global plastic waste is set to nearly triple by 2060 without action, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Made from oil and other fossil fuels, plastics also account for an estimated 3.4 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Less than one-tenth of plastic is recycled, including in Canada, and scientists believe about nine million tonnes end up in the ocean every year. Canadians produce about 2.9 million tonnes of plastic waste each year that isn’t recycled or incinerated.

Ottawa is set to host the next Global Plastics Treaty in April 2024. Together with our global A Rocha family, we hope to raise awareness on plastic pollution through Plastic Free February:

Join us in being intentional to not use plastic for a month.

Start a conversation and inspire others to join in. Check out A Rocha International’s Plastic Toolbox for more information and resources.

Steps we can all take:

  • Avoid products containing microplastics (see here for lists of personal care products to avoid)
  • Check the labels on clothing for their plastic content
  • Fit a filter to our washing machines to trap microplastic fibres
  • Reduce our plastic waste: avoid single-use plastic products, and products with excessive packaging
  • Encourage governments and businesses to take action against plastic: use your vote, your voice and your purchasing choices
  • Most importantly, spread the word!

The more people aware of the problem and taking action, the stronger the push for change!