(Amy Scaife/Greenpeace)

Nestle, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s named some of Canada’s top plastic polluters

A Greenpeace Canada audit, which inolved shoreline cleanups in Tofino and Vancouver, found nearly half of 2,300 pieces of plastic came from five major companies.

As volunteers worked to clean up five shorelines across Canada in September, a majority of the plastic garbage could be traced back to five major companies – including one hailed by some as a national emblem.

Greenpeace Canada hosted its Break Free From Plastic audit last month, which totalled 239 cleanups around the world including in Tofino, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

A total of 2,231 pieces of identifiable trash was collected, according to Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada’s oceans and plastics campaign.

Of the trash, 46 per cent came from Nestle, Tim Hortons, PepsiCo., Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s products.

Black Press Media has reached out to each company for comment.

READ MORE: Is Canada losing its love for Tim Hortons?

WATCH: Hundreds of volunteers clean up shores of B.C. beach

In a news release, King said it’s not surprising to her that large conglomerates made the top five list, given the “billions” of single-use plastic packaged products under each brand.

“Pop and water bottles, rogue bottle caps, Lay’s chip bags, Kit Kat and Coffee Crisp bar wrappers; chances are that any cleanup conducted will reveal plastic pollution associated with these companies,” she said.

King also pointed to Tim Horton’s “infamous” throwaway coffee cups. Plastic-lined drink cups were the third most common type of plastic item found, she said, after plastic bottles. Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and Starbucks were the main contributors.

“… It’s no wonder that the prevalence of these cups at our cleanup and audit locations landed this company in the second top polluter spot in Canada,” she said. “I wonder what Sidney Crosby and other hockey players think about their face being on those cups now?”


In a emailed statement, a Tim Hortons spokesperson said they recognize everyone has a responsibility to limit environmental impacts on the planet.

“That’s why Tim Hortons is actively working on a packaging strategy that includes the function, design and environmental footprint,” the statement reads.

McDonald’s Canada said that while the vast majority of its packaging is fiber-based, approximately 20 percent globally is plastic, mainly due to the functionality, food safety, and convenience it provides. Earlier this year, McDonalds announced goals to source fully from renewable, recycled, or certified sources by 2025.

“We understand that recycling infrastructure, regulations and consumer behaviors vary from city to city and country to country, but we plan to be part of the solution and help influence powerful change,” it said.

Meanwhile, the top plastic found came in the form of colourful food wrappers.

PepsiCo said its working with experts and investing in bringing the latest sustainable packaging advances to market.

“We are committed to achieving 100 [per cent] recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025,” a spokesperson told Black Press Media.

King said a large number of products from other well-known companies were found during the cleanups, including The Hershey Company, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Danone, Costco Wholesale Corporation and Metro Inc.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Disaster Before Christmas: Mission Hospice Society needs public’s help

Leaking pipes and a sewer back up leaves non-profit group with a huge bill it can’t afford to pay

Mission waterfront a priority for council

Mayor: ‘We still see our waterfront as a phenomenal opportunity for the entire community’

Silverdale planning is just beginning

Public meeting shows initial steps; next up will be examining infrastructure

Eight-foot-deep sinkhole appears in dike near Abbotsford/Mission wastewater plant

Crews hope to repair hole by February, but cost not yet known

Casino move, expansion approved by Mission council

Council votes 6-1 in favour of proposal, Chances still need final approval from the BCLC

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Most Read