Summer Newsletter: Making Progress on Addressing Plastic Pollution

Huntsville, Ont. – July 26, 2023

Pollution Probe was invited to present at the recent meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), held in Huntsville, Ont. The meeting brought together federal, provincial, and territorial environment ministers to discuss pressing environmental issues, with a focus on advancing the circular economy and addressing plastic pollution in Canada.

As the sole environmental organization present at the event, we seized the opportunity to discuss our successes in combating plastic pollution and advocating for the transition to a circular economy for plastics.

The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Gains Momentum

Pollution Probe’s Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup (GLPC), a collaborative effort with the Council of the Great Lakes Region, is the largest initiative of its kind in the world. Now in its fourth season, the initiative aims to identify sources of plastic debris entering the Great Lakes waterways and emphasizes the importance of collective action to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic waste.

By combining research, collaboration, outreach, and education, the GLPC is raising awareness about the impact of plastic pollution and the critical role played by governments, industries, and consumers in safeguarding the Great Lakes.

In addition to raising awareness, GLPC is driving local actions and has produced new policy and industry programs to prevent plastics from entering the Great Lakes.

Diving Into the Data

The GLPC’s latest data for 2022 is now available on our website, showcasing the program’s most successful season yet. With more than 580 data submissions collected across our network, the GLPC has gained key insights into the sources and types of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.

Microplastics, including small hard fragments, foam, and industrial pre-production plastic pellets, remained a dominant form of debris. However, an intriguing trend emerged with an increase in the number of large plastic pieces collected, with cigarette butts making it to the top five items reported across the lakes.

We attribute this finding to the strategic placement of plastic capture technologies. Our LittaTraps have been successful in capturing large plastic pieces before they have a chance to break down into microplastics, a typical find for some of our other technologies..

To explore the data further and stay informed about the GLPC’s ongoing efforts,  visit our website at:

For more information, contact:

Melissa DeYoung – Director, Policy & Programs

About Pollution Probe

Pollution Probe is a Canadian charitable environmental organization founded in September 1969 by University of Toronto students and professors. Over the past 5 decades, Pollution Probe has been at the forefront of progress on a range of environmental issues. We pursue environmental gains by working productively with governments, industry and the public, with a steadfast commitment to Clean Air, Clean Water, and a Healthy Planet.

Media Contacts:

Richard Carlson – Director, Energy
Pollution Probe
416-926-1907 x 251

Manasvi Thakur, PR Manager
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(437) 366-4207