LHCC says large amounts of plastics are being found in Lake Huron

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The C-E-O for the Lake Huron Coastal Centre says the Great Lakes support 30 million people and 4,000 species of wildlife, with one in four Canadians dependent on the Great Lakes for drinking water.

But Erinn Lawrie also points out that the concentration of plastic in the Great Lakes surface water is among the highest in the world. She says some areas have more plastic than the North Pacific Garbage Patch. 

“One thing we found during our research is that about 22-million pounds of plastic is entering the Great Lakes every single year. But cigarette butts were one of the most commonly littered items on shorelines in Canada last year,” said Lawrie. 

Lawrie says when they conduct their beach clean-ups, they count all of the litter they find and document what types of litter they’re finding. 

“We contribute that information to a national database that’s managed by an organization called ‘Oceanwide’. They found that there were 146,000 cigarette butts collected on Canadian beaches in 2021,” she added. 

Lawrie also says some things people can do on their own to help reduce the garbage going into Lake Huron include advocating for a ban on single-use plastics and micro-plastic products by signing petitions and supporting related government policies, use less plastic in your daily life, and participate in one of their twelve clean-up events happening in 2023.

Also, Lawrie says they’re going to need a lot of volunteers this summer and a lot of donations to support those clean-up events. She’s hoping people will consider making a donation November 29, on Giving Tuesday, to help with those events. They can do that by going to the Lake Huron Coastal Centre website.