Oceana Canada, part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation, have launched Great Lengths: Swim for Plastic-Free Oceans, a peer-to-peer swim challenge fundraiser to support the charity’s campaign to stop the flow of single-use plastics that are harming oceans and marine life.
An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year—roughly equivalent to dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into the oceans every minute. As plastic continues to flood into our oceans, the list of marine species who ingest or get entangled in plastic debris expands, impacting everything from zooplankton and fish to sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds.
“The oceans face a massive and growing threat from plastic pollution, and we cannot recycle our way out of this crisis. More plastic was manufactured globally in the previous decade than in the whole of the last century, and a meagre nine per cent of all the plastic waste ever generated has been recycled,” says Josh Laughren, executive director of Oceana Canada. “We must address the problem at its source by reducing the amount of single-use plastic produced. We need ambitious leadership and action from governments and companies, backed by a growing movement of ocean advocates.”
With Great Lengths: Swim for Plastic-Free Oceans, swimmers of all ages and skill levels across Canada can join the fight to stop plastic from entering our oceans. Participants can choose their swim challenge distance and fundraising goal, and all funds raised will support Oceana Canada’s work to help Canada transition away from single-use plastics.
Specifically, Oceana Canada is advocating for:
- Governments to enact smart legislation and regulations that phase out single-use plastics and ensure they don’t end up in our oceans;
- Companies to adopt alternatives to single-use plastics – from multinational corporations to local restaurants; and
- Consumers to hold governments and companies accountable to recognize, own and act on the threat plastic pollution poses to our oceans.
“We need to address this growing crisis by reducing single-use plastic, and championing solutions to ensure that our oceans are plastic-free,” says Laughren. “Participating in or donating to Great Lengths: Swim for Plastic-Free Oceans will directly support our work to end single-use plastics, which will get us one step closer to a future with oceans full of fish and wildlife, not plastic.”
For more information about Great Lengths: Swim for Plastic-Free Oceans and to sign up go to oceana.ca/GreatLengths.