Canada joins international initiatives to reduce plastic pollution and protect our oceans

No one wants to see plastic waste at the park, on a beach or in our waterways. That’s why Canada continues to take strong action to reduce plastic pollution, protect biodiversity, and promote healthy and resilient oceans and coastal communities here at home and around the world.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau virtually joined other world leaders today at the One Ocean Summithosted by France, to announce that Canada will join international partnerships and initiatives to reduce plastic pollution and protect our oceans.

These partnerships and initiatives include:

  • Join the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction to advance the protection of marine biodiversity.
  • Approve the Global Commitment to the New Plastics Economywhich brings together more than 500 companies and governments determined to act quickly to reduce plastic pollution.
  • Support the development of an ambitious, legally binding new global agreement on plastics at the United Nations Environment Assembly that takes a full life cycle approach to tackling plastic pollution.

These partnerships complement the many actions Canada has already taken to eliminate plastic waste and protect our oceans. Here at home, the government continues to set an example for the world by tackling plastic pollution by banning harmful single-use plastics, establishing requirements for recycled content, and working with provinces and territories. to make plastic producers responsible for their plastic waste. The government is also supporting ocean health through the development of a new blue economy strategy.

Canada is a leader on the world stage through its ongoing work to defend the Ocean Plastics Charter and membership in the Ocean Decade Alliance.

With the longest coastline in the world and a quarter of the planet’s fresh water, Canada is uniquely positioned to lead in reducing plastic pollution and protecting the health of the oceans. The government will continue to work with partners at home and around the world to protect the environment and build a healthy future for generations to come.


“Canadians know that our natural spaces should be cherished and not littered. As we take action here at home to ban harmful single-use plastics, we are also taking action on the global stage. That is why Canada joins its international partners in the fight against ocean pollution. By working together to achieve a future free of plastic waste, we are building a clean and healthy future for generations to come.

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“With the longest coastline in the world, bordering three oceans that are essential to the lives and livelihoods of many Canadians, Canada is an ocean nation. As a coastal Canadian myself, I know how essential it is that we work together to protect our shared waters from the devastating effects of plastic pollution. That’s why, with our partners, our government is committed to reducing plastic pollution and ensuring the conservation and regeneration of our ocean ecosystems for future generations.

The deputy. Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Plastic pollution in our oceans is a growing problem that we urgently need to work together to solve. Our government has made it a priority to eliminate plastic waste and pollution, including banning harmful single-use plastics. We are working to move Canada towards a circular economy that keeps plastics in our economy and out of landfills. Canada champions the Ocean Plastics Charter and we will continue to work with international partners to achieve an ambitious and legally binding global agreement on plastics.

The deputy. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Fast facts

  • The Ocean Plastics Charter, led by Canada and launched during Canada’s G7 Presidency in 2018, takes a holistic lifecycle approach to tackling plastic pollution and waste, and lays the groundwork to ensure that plastics are designed to be reused and recycled. To date, the Charter has been endorsed by nearly 30 governments and over 70 companies.
  • In 2016, the Government of Canada launched the $1.5 billion program Oceans Protection Planthe largest investment ever to make Canada’s coasts and waterways safer and healthier, in partnership with coastal and Indigenous communities.
  • Canada has committed to conserving 25% of its lands and waters by 2025 and 30% by 2030, and has made a historic investment of nearly $3.5 billion to achieve these goals.
  • Each year, plastic pollution costs up to $2.5 trillion in ecological, economic and social impacts.
  • Canada’s proposed ban on harmful single-use plastics would prevent more than 23,000 tonnes of plastic pollution from entering the environment over a ten-year period, the equivalent of one million garbage bags.

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Bryce K. Locke