For Immediate Release - May 31, 2021
“Plastics provide an opportunity to redefine waste as a resource, a resource that is wasted when it goes to landfill. Keeping plastics circulating in the economy makes good economic sense, in addition to reducing the impact plastics have on the environment when they go to waste. Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Prosser and the U of G for continuing to improve life now and for future generations.
- Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph
Plastics are polluting our rivers, lakes, and oceans, and harming the wildlife that call those places home. That’s why the Government of Canada is committed to achieving zero plastic waste by 2030, including by moving towards a more circular economy and banning certain, harmful single-use plastics, where warranted and supported by science.
Today, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, highlighted that the Government of Canada is providing $999,400 to the University of Guelph for research into the risk of microplastics to Canada’s ecosystem. This is part of the $7M announced earlier today to support seven science-based plastics research projects across the country.
These projects aim to close gaps in our knowledge and improve understanding of the threats posed by plastic pollution. Information generated by research scientists is vital to plastics policy development and to making evidence-based decisions in our ongoing effort to protect wildlife and our waters, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs.
The first-of-its-kind project, led by Dr. Ryan Prosser at the U of G, will assess potentially harmful impacts of microplastics (particles less than 5 millimetres in size) on crop plants and on organisms ingesting the material in soil and water – information that will help governments and policy makers target ways to lessen contamination risks.
“It is tremendous that Dr. Prosser’s crucial work to protect our water and soil has been supported by NSERC. This is an excellent example of the ways in which U of G researchers generate knowledge and transform that knowledge into positively impactful innovations that address matters of critical global concern and thereby improve life.”
- Dr. Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research), University of Guelph
Canada is taking action to protect the environment and reduce plastic pollution across the country with a comprehensive approach. It includes moving toward a circular economy that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment through activities such as better product design, higher rates of repair, remanufacturing, recycling, advancing science and community actions, and a ban on certain, harmful single-use plastics.
By following the science to improve how we manage plastic and by investing in innovative solutions, we can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year and create approximately 42,000 jobs across the country.
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