Newsletter: Earth Day, a plastic treaty, LEGO skyscrapers and sci-fi enzymes

Happy belated Earth Day! Given my recent investigation, I was excited about this year’s theme — ending plastic pollution. In fact, I’m in the midst of reporting on steps Canada can take to help tackle the problem.

I kept a close eye on what other people were saying about the issue before and on Earth Day. Here are some highlights:

  1. Environment and Climate Change Canada launched an online consultation for Canadians to share their ideas on how Canada can reduce plastic waste and marine litter on Earth Day. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna marked the occasion by participating in a beach cleanup in Nova Scotia. Follow this link to tell the government what you think.
  2. The CBC reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stopped short of echoing British Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for Commonwealth members to ban single-use plastics last week. Click here for the story.
  3. More than 75,000 people have signed a petition in support of a parliamentary motion calling for the Canadian government to develop legislation on the global plastics crisis, including policies to reduce single-use plastic in Canada.
  4. TIME magazine figured out how many life-size LEGO skyscrapers you could build out of a year’s worth of plastic that goes into the ocean. Check out the story.
  5. As for the solution? Scientists might help us clean up the mess with an engineered enzyme that eats plastic. You can find out more about it in this article.
  6. And, last week, a nonprofit sent a giant ocean cleanup machine on a voyage to help clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Click here to read about it.  

I’d love to hear your ideas about plastic pollution. Do you think the Prime Minister should consider a single-use plastic ban? Would you like an international plastic treaty? What else would you like me to cover? Join this discussion on The Discourse, message me on Facebook or Twitter, or email me to share your thoughts.

[embed_story post=”8584″ title=”” description=”Plastic is one of the most widely used man-made substances in the world. Amid growing concern about plastic pollution in our seas, scientists are calling for an international agreement to help us cut back. Check out my story from April 20, about why scientists say we need to think of solutions to plastic pollution in a similar way to how we think about climate change. ” button_text=”Check it out”]

Help us investigate

Canadians increasingly believe multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion are their country’s most notable contribution to the world, according to a survey released earlier this month. But refugee advocates question if we’re doing as well as we think we are when it comes to our system for integrating refugees and asylum seekers, according to reporting by The Discourse’s data reporter Francesca Fionda (Click here to read the story and respond to our survey).

That’s why, leading up to World Refugee Day on June 20, 2018, Francesca and I are investigating Canada’s refugee system. One thing refugee advocates told Francesca is we’re missing “stories of refugees, by refugees.” So, The Discourse is looking for creative ways to share the experiences of refugees, asylum seekers and those helping with resettlement in Canada in their own words. Do you know someone we should talk to or have a story to share? Email me and let me know.[end]

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