Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup® 2018 report exposes cigarette butts as most-commonly
found litter on shorelines across Canada.
Vancouver, B.C, May 09, 2019 - Cigarette butts have returned to the top of the
Dirty Dozen list, with a staggering 560,432 cigarette butts found on Canadian
shorelines in 2018.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup 2018 annual report has revealed the top 12
Dirty Dozen items found on shorelines around Canada. Findings show that cigarette
butts top the list as the most-common form of litter on our shores.
In fact, this was the highest number of cigarette butts ever collected through the
Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. These numbers are partially due to the participation
The Butt Blitz, an organization dedicated to removing cigarette butt litter.
Cigarette butts have been identified as a top offender in shoreline pollution for
many years. In August 2018, researchers from the University of British Columbia
published a peer-reviewed paper analyzing the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup citizen
science data for British Columbia. Researchers found that in urban areas such as
Vancouver and Victoria,
cigarettes accounted for nearly 50 per cent of the litter collected between 2013
and 2016. Other top polluters in the Dirty Dozen report included tiny plastic
or foam pieces, food wrappers and bottle caps.
"These numbers confirm the devastating impact of plastic pollution on shorelines.
Whether in the form of cigarette butts or bottle caps, the growing rate of plastic
in our waters is alarming," says Kate Le Souef, National Program Manager at the
Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. "Cigarette butts break down into microplastics,
which can have harmful effects on marine life. We hope to continue raising awareness
on the growing pollution crisis and inspire positive action to protect the health
of our waters."
A conservation partnership of Ocean Wise® and World Wildlife Fund Canada, the Great
Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is one of the largest direct-action conservation programs
in the country. Year after year, volunteers play a critical role in helping reduce
plastic pollution in coastal and freshwater bodies. 2018 marked the 25th year of
the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and since the program started more than 850,000
volunteers have participated in cleaning up Canadian shorelines. This resulted in
nearly 1.8 million kilograms of litter (the equivalent weight of 326 killer whales)
from entering our freshwater and marine ecosystems. Nearly 40,000 kilometres of
the country were cleaned — the same distance travelled if you circled every Great
Lake and its islands more than twice.
"It's an inspiring effort by hundreds of thousands of Canadians," said Lasse Gustavsson,
CEO and president of Ocean Wise. "Not only does cleaning shorelines help restore
critical habitat, but it reminds us to be thoughtful about what we use and how we
dispose of it."
"Our Shoreline Cleanup volunteers are truly awesome in the effort they make and
the time they give to keep plastic and other types of litter out of nature," said
Megan Leslie, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. "We encourage all Canadians to join
our campaign this year and protect wildlife habitat from plastic waste contamination.
We need to give nature a helping hand."
Join thousands of volunteers helping to keep our shorelines healthy. Register today
Background & links:
Dirty Dozen Map
Dirty Dozen List
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited and
Coca-Cola Ltd. , is one of the largest direct-action conservation programs in Canada.
A conservation partnership by Ocean Wise and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims
to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate
shoreline areas through cleanups. www.ShorelineCleanup.ca
Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world in which oceans
are healthy and flourishing.
World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for
Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that
nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more
Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is the nation's largest retailer, providing Canadians with
grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services,
and wireless mobile products and services.
About Coca-Cola in Canada
Coca-Cola in Canada employs 6,200 people in more than 50 production and distribution
facilities across Canada. We're proud to offer some of the most popular brands in
Canada, many of which come in low and no calorie options, including Coca-Cola®,
Diet Coke®, Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Life®, Sprite®, Fanta®, NESTEA®, Gold
Peak™, POWERADE®, Minute Maid®, Simply®, DASANI®, fairlife®, smartwater®, and vitaminwater®.
Coca-Cola in Canada is represented by Coca-Cola Ltd. and Coca-Cola Canada Bottling
Limited. For more information about Coca-Cola Canada, please visit www.coca-cola.ca and www.cokecanada.com.