On World Ocean Day, Canada is pushing to reduce plastic waste at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec. With a new #PlasticsCharter that sets out ambitious goals for recycling and reducing plastic waste, Canada is encouraging the six other industrialized countries in the G7 to tackle this global issue together.

Studies show that one million water bottles are sold every minute around the world and 500 billion plastic bags are used globally every year.

Here at Ocean Wise, we welcome and support Canada’s #PlasticsCharter.  Since 1994, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, an Ocean Wise initiative, has cleaned shorelines of plastic waste. The vast majority of what we remove from the marine environment is single-use plastic like plastics bottles, food wrappers and cigarette butts — items that Canada and other industrialized countries can make huge strides toward reducing or eliminating entirely.

A sea lion disentanglement by Ocean Wise’s MMR team in 2013.

The Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue team works to disentangles sea lions from plastic waste, like fishing lines, that can injure and even kill animals in the wild. Ocean Wise Research is investigating the long-term impacts of plastic on the ocean ecosystem, from invertebrates up to beluga whales, and exploring the threat of microplastics (tiny plastics measuring less than 5 millimetres in diametre) to the environment.

Coastal Ocean Research Institute.

Dr. Peter Ross, Vice President of Research, is examining the impact of microplastics on the marine environment.

And this year, Ocean Wise launched the #BePlasticWise pledge that helps government, industry and the public tackle ocean plastic together. (You can sign the #BePlasticWise pledge here.)

“As an organization, we strongly support this step as one more way to keep single-use plastic waste out of our ocean and to create greater urgency and awareness around plastic waste pollution,” says Ocean Wise president and CEO Dr. John Nightingale. “We will be watching as the discussions unfold and doing our part to encourage Canada’s bold leadership in moving this forward.”

On this #WorldOceansDay, let’s celebrate 71% of our planet with a shout-out to everyone who works towards healthy oceans! We support the leadership of #Canada and #G7 countries in a #PlasticsCharter to reduce single-use plastic waste. #BePlasticWise http://ow.ly/6p6T30kplBy

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