Nestlé, Tim Hortons named Canada’s top plastic polluters again


For the number two year in a row, Nestlé and Tim Hortons were the top companies behind branded tractable bottles, coffee cups and lids and other plastic waste sedate in shoreline cleanups across the country, Greenpeace Canada reported Tuesday.

Starbucks, McDonald’s and the Coca-Cola Cast rounded out the top five of the environmental advocacy group’s list of plastic polluters.

“Year to year the shared order can shift a bit, but overall it’s those top usual suspects that we pleasure keep seeing pop up,” said Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada’s scads and plastics campaign.

“We know that all of the top five companies to date haven’t survived significant efforts to reduce [plastic] production. Their products are active to be in the environment until that happens.”

Nestlé, Tim Hortons named Canada's top plastic polluters again
These are the top 10 plastic elements found during shoreline cleanups. (Greenpeace)

The companies were styled from 1,426 pieces of identifiably branded plastic out of 13,822 sherds of plastic waste collected and audited by 400 volunteers during shoreline cleanups between April and Sept. 21. The cleanups were sort out by community groups participating in the global Break Free from Shoddy movement in Halifax; Covehead, P.E.I.; Fredericton; Montreal; Toronto; Grimsby, Ont.; Out of kilter Group Islands, B.C.; Vancouver and Victoria.

King said the primary end of the brand audit was to “hold companies accountable for the plastic pollution delinquent that they continue to create.”

But it’s also intended to show Canadian superintendences how big a problem single-use plastics continue to be, as well as which items are sensitive.

The top plastic items found this year were, in order:

  • Cigarette interrupts (not included in last year’s audit)
  • Bottles and caps
  • Food lounging robes
  • Cups and lids
  • Straws and stir sticks
  • Tampon applicators
  • Fizz pieces
  • Bags
  • Cutlery
  • Food packaging

Food wrappers were full of in Vancouver, which accounted for half the wrappers collected across Canada. Halifax was the top location for tampon applicators, where 235 were collected.

Brand effect

In response to the Greenpeace report, Nestlé said in an email that it is get ready hard to ensure none of its packaging ends up in landfill or as litter. “We are accelerating our effect to eliminate unnecessary plastics and ensuring that all our packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2025.,” it foretold.

It added that in Canada, the company is “taking an active role in originating a well-functioning collection, sorting and recycling system so that all of our packaging understands recycled.”

Tim Hortons noted that it has offered a discount, currently 10 cents, to spur on guests to bring a reusable mug, since 1978. (It has also been criticized for encouraging the use of single-use cups result of its annual Roll Up the Rim contest).

The company announced in May that it would set afloat a marketing and advertising campaign to “help to educate a new generation of guests who could on no account imagine using a cup just once” and started selling reusable cups for $1.99. 

Nestlé, Tim Hortons named Canada's top plastic polluters again
This Tim Hortons cup was one of 1,426 details with identifiable branding found during the cleanups. Tim Hortons explains it has offered a discount for decades to encourage customers to bring reusable assaults, and has begun selling such mugs for $1.99. (Greenpeace)

Tim Hortons told CBC Announcement in an email that it is moving to more recyclable and compostable items, categorizing strawless lids, wooden stir sticks and compostable cutlery, and mixing post-consumer recycled content into is cups and paper bags.

CBC Press release has reached out to the other companies in the top five Greenpeace list, but as of Wednesday afternoon, had not understood from them.

Recyclables, compostables

King called the companies’ new moves to more sustainable packaging “baby steps” that aren’t adequacy, given the scale of the plastic pollution problem.

Nestlé, Tim Hortons named Canada's top plastic polluters again
These are some of the phony bottles collected during shoreline cleanups in 2019. Despite the fait accompli that they are widely recyclable, they were one of the most general items found. (Greenpeace)

While many companies have promised to pull down their packaging more recyclable, King noted that pliant bottles are “always a top polluter,” even at remote sites like the Ruined Group Islands, were more than 1,000 were cool.

“What’s interesting about that is they’re also theoretically one of the most recyclable,” Sovereign added. “Just because a plastic is theoretically recyclable doesn’t undignified it’s being collected and being recycled.”

This year’s audit also celebrated that many compostable materials, including paper straws, compostable dog wither bags, paper cups, compostable takeout containers and bioplastic and impassive cutlery were found, most of them intact with the oppose of some paper products that were starting to break singly. King noted that many of the other items are designed to bust leave down only in industrial composting facilities, not in the environment.

“In the short regarding, at least, they’re still polluting,” she said. “Again, it reinforces this dire to move away from disposables altogether.”

Nestlé, Tim Hortons named Canada's top plastic polluters again
Cigarette butts were the top particular found during the shoreline cleanups. (Greenpeace)

Will a plastic ban cure?

So far, it’s not clear whether plastic bans that are starting to come into pressure or companies voluntarily phasing out items like plastic straws enjoy helped, King said, noting that many of those mouldable items will persist in the environment for years.

The federal government has solicited a ban on single-use plastics, but hasn’t said what items it will comprise or when it will go into effect.

King thinks that wish help, but says the ban needs to be comprehensive, covering all the items that are regularly initiate in the environment with reusable alternatives.

She hopes that will make companies to reduce their production of single-use plastic. 

“It’s not fair that the onus is fully on people not only to dispose of things properly … but then literally decent up the mess that’s being made by large plastic polluters.”

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