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Municipalities step up to fight marine litter (02/06/2018)

At the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' (FCM) Annual Conference, delegates overwhelmingly voted for a resolution that urges the federal government to develop a comprehensive national strategy to mitigate and manage marine litter. 

"It's time to reverse the tide on the eight million tonnes of plastic that finds its way to our oceans every year," said FCM President Jenny Gerbasi. "We must find solutions to the scourge of marine litter and the passing of today's resolution means that local governments want to help."  

The Marine Litter resolution, strongly endorsed at the FCM conference's morning session, urges the federal government, in consultation with all orders of government, to set measurable targets to reduce ocean plastics pollution, support local innovation in waste management, enhance coastal clean-up operations, develop a national public education and awareness campaign and drive polices that tackle the upstream sources of plastic waste. 

Today's resolution falls on the eve of the G7 Summit where the issue of marine litter will be discussed by world leaders. FCM's President has written to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change supporting Canada's leadership on this issue and calling for a strong commitment to reducing plastic waste at the G7. 

"As waste managers, municipal governments are the last line of defense against plastics ending up in our oceans and waterways. Local governments know change needs to happen, but we can't do it alone," added Gerbasi. "We're ready to work with the federal government, provinces and territories, and industry to build those strong partnerships and move towards a goal of zero plastic waste in Canada."

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.

For more information, please contact: 

FCM Media Relations, (613) 907-6395,

Page Updated: 08/06/2018