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The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and Canadian Plastics Industry Association Descend Upon Etobicoke Creek

TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imagine crossing Canada three times end to end – between Vancouver, B.C. to St. John's, N.L. That distance – 21,775 kilometers – is about the length of shorelines in this country cleaned throughout the 20-year history of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited.

After summer recreation, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is an ideal chance for everyone to make a difference in their communities by cleaning shorelines of litter. This fall, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) team came together to keep our local Etobicoke Creek clean and healthy for everyone, including the wildlife and people who depend on them. Since 1994, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has mobilized over 500,000 individuals across Canada to take action keeping our waters healthy for the wildlife and communities that depend on them.

"As a GCSC site sponsor, CPIA was very excited to participate in the Shoreline Cleanup this year." says Carol Hochu, CPIA President and CEO. "This national conservation effort is a great chance for everyone to get involved and play an important role in keeping our waterways healthy for our community and the plants and animals that rely on our waters for survival."



By removing shoreline litter from Etobicoke Creek, participants in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup are helping prevent animal entanglement, water contamination and dangers for water-based activities such as boating and swimming. Over its history, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has helped to remove approximately 1.2 million kilograms of shoreline litter – the approximate weight of 259 school buses.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a joint conservation initiative between Vancouver Aquarium and WWF. It is the largest direct-action conservation initiative in Canada.

Shoreline cleanups can happen along the edge of any body of water – rivers, ponds, lakes, beaches and anywhere else where land and water meet. This year, the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF are aiming to have over 64,000 Canadians participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – and they hope you'll be one of them. You can get involved by visiting http://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/en/search/cleanups for a clean-up location near you.

"Shoreline litter does more than mar the beauty of our ecosystems; it puts wildlife and people at risk. From leaching harmful chemicals into the water, to entangling wildlife, to upsetting the balance of the ecosystem, the impact of shoreline litter is far-reaching," says Jill Dwyer, program manager for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. "The good news is that through the Shoreline Cleanup, there is something we can do to be part of the solution."

Facts

  • Shoreline cleanups began in 1994, when a small team from the Vancouver Aquarium conducted a local shoreline cleanup in Vancouver's Stanley Park.
  • In 2002, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup became a national program, providing all Canadians the opportunity to make a difference in their local community, while taking part in a nationwide event.
  • In 2013, participants removed 99,280 kg of litter from 3,035 km of shoreline.
  • The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is Canada's largest contributor to the International Coastal Cleanup, a global effort to remove harmful litter and aquatic debris from shorelines.
  • Throughout its 20-year history, more than one million kilograms of shoreline litter have been removed from Canadian waterways.

In 2013, the most common items found on shorelines included, cigarettes/cigarette filters; food wrappers; plastic and paper bags; caps and lids; beverage cans and bottles; disposable cups, plates and cutlery; straws and stirrers; tobacco packaging and building materials.

About the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. www.ShorelineCleanup.ca

About the Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org

About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. www.loblaw.ca

About Canadian Plastics Industry Association

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of Canada's plastics industry, representing the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across the country. www.plastics.ca

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28107

CONTACT: Darlene Gray Canadian Plastics Industry Association t. 905.678.7748 ext. 239

Source:Canadian Plastics Industry Association