A new policy to curb the purchase and use of single-use plastics was announced at an employee town hall by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“Each and every one of us has a role to play in tackling plastic pollution and protecting our environment,” said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “The passionate and hardworking employees of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard are doing their part to reduce plastic that is polluting our oceans – a cause I hope all Canadians can participate and take pride in. Congratulations!”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard have established a new policy to reduce the purchase and use of single-use plastics and issued an associated directive to restrict their purchase and use for federal government meetings, events, and conferences.

“Taking action to protect our environment and strengthen the economy is a priority for Canada, and leadership starts at home,” the Honourable Jane Philpott, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government. “That’s why we’re working to make government operations greener. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard is adding to that effort by purchasing, using, and disposing of plastic goods in a way that supports sustainable development and protects the environment.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including the Canadian Coast Guard, is the first federal department to implement this type of internal policy in support of the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy and Actions on Plastic Waste in Federal Operations, which commit the government to divert at least 75 per cent of all non-hazardous operational waste, including plastic, by 2030.

More than 2,400 Fisheries and Oceans and Coast Guard employees pledged to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics in both their personal and professional lives as part of a departmentally-led Goodbye Plastic initiative.

“With the longest coastline in the world, and thousands of communities and wildlife that depend on our oceans, lakes and rivers, we need to beat plastic pollution together with actions big and small,” the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. “By reducing, reusing and recycling plastic pollution, we can protect our nature, create thousands of new jobs, grow our economy, and cut our emissions.”

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