Your Help Needed: Student Campaign to Reduce Plastic Packaging
Sign the Petition! Support the Letter-Writing Campaign!
By Serena Emerson, Grade 10
For my civic engagement project, I am initiating a letter campaign to the federal and Ontario provincial ministers of the environment, campaigning for stronger regulations around the material used to package e-commerce.
Most of the time e-commerce is shipped in layers and layers of plastics that are only used once. Since the volume of online purchases has skyrocketed recently due to the pandemic, this issue has become far more pressing.
Plastics are environmentally damaging throughout their entire lifecycle. They are derived from petroleum, whose extraction, refinement, and disposal cause a wide array of negative consequences including but not limited to extensive greenhouse gas emissions, plastic pollution, habitat loss, and immense air, water, and soil contamination.
Many people think that a valid way of combating plastic pollution is through recycling and while recycling is important, it is far from the solution. In reality, less than 14% of the world's plastic waste gets recycled each year and the most wealthy nations’ plastic waste ends up in landfills in poor, developing countries or in our oceans. Once plastic is released into the environment it will stay there for anywhere from 20 to 500 years.
Clearly, the excessive amounts of single-use plastics used for packaging in e-commerce are only contributing to this huge issue. This is why I am proposing that the federal government of Canada make biodegradable packaging mandatory in Canada in order to avoid the issues around plastic’s lifecycle altogether.
I go more in-depth with this issue in my proposal which you can view here.
You can help make a difference with this urgent problem by participating in my letter-writing campaign. I have drafted two letters, one to the federal Environment and Climate Change Canada and the other to the Ontario provincial Minister of The Environment, Conservation, and Parks. If you would like, you can edit these letters and send them, in order to put pressure on the ministers. I would be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to do so.
Here is the link to the federal letter (instructions included).
Here is the link to the provincial letter (instructions included).
If you are 16 years or older you can also sign petitions to help this cause.
Here is a petition from the organization Oceana demanding that single-use plastics be banned in Canada.
Here is a petition pressuring Amazon to specifically provide plastic-free packaging options.
Thank you so much for helping with this important cause!
We look forward to sharing more student projects from Deanna Harris’s Civics Class after March Break!