Ecojustice Blog – Special Update Posted on December 20, 2018 (updated: December 20, 2018)

For a plastic-waste-free world

James Gunvaldsen KlaassenLawyer

I’m James, a lawyer based in Ecojustice’s recently opened Atlantic office. Like many of our supporters, I am appalled by plastic pollution and learned about the enormity of this problem from news stories and documentaries like A Plastic Ocean.

On most beaches around Halifax, you will find plastics above the tideline. Plastic food wrappers, drinking bottles, and disposable lighters are stuck amongst the rocks, blocking little tide pools and obviously causing harm to the creatures that live there — and to marine animals and sea birds that unwittingly consume this plastic waste.

Here I am on Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia, where I come to connect with nature and get inspired.

My family and I are committed to reducing our plastic consumption. We go out of our way to buy our groceries unpackaged, in our own containers, and leave the single-use plastic containers in the stores.

While it may not realistic to live plastic-free lives in this modern age, we can aim to generate zero plastic waste. That’s why my holiday wish is for a plastic-waste-free world.

Our individual actions to reduce plastic consumption are important. But addressing our global plastic problem requires bigger solutions.

Thanks to supporters like you, Ecojustice is working with a coalition of like-minded groups to urge the federal government to add plastics to the Priority Substances List under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

CEPA is a legal tool the federal government already has at its disposal to address our plastics problem. This law allows them to assess the harm certain plastic products and packaging inflict on Canada’s marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, and move forward with legally-binding solutions to address pollution.

In Canada, tiny particles of plastic are already showing up in the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. That’s alarming to me as a father of three children — and it motivates me to work hard on this issue.

But we can’t do it without you. Please make a gift today and help Ecojustice advocate for legally enforceable solutions to the global plastics problem.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.


James Gunvaldsen Klaassen

P.S. Protecting the environment is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our loved ones. Please make a gift today and help Ecojustice give voice to nature in courtrooms and legislatures across Canada.

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