The Canadian Government is set to advance a nationwide zero-plastic-waste strategy across the country in a move to tackle plastic pollution.

This initiative builds on the international Ocean Plastics Charter launched in June with a focus on ocean health and plastic pollution.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and her provincial and territorial counterparts outlined the strategy in a meeting.

The new policy focuses on developing solutions that could prevent, reduce, reuse and clean up plastic waste in oceans.

The government plans to make all plastic products and packaging reusable and recyclable, and work with plastics packaging companies to help improve plastic waste collection, management systems, and infrastructure across the country.

The government will take action to capture and remove the plastic litter from shorelines and in nearshore waters.

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“The initiative is expected to create more than 85,000 middle-class jobs by 2040 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15 million tonnes.”

McKenna said: “Plastic pollution doesn’t know any borders. That’s why it’s so important that we tackle this problem together. We made important progress today with provinces and territories to protect our oceans and reduce plastic pollution in Canada.

“With the longest coastline in the world and thousands of communities and wildlife that depend on our oceans, lakes and rivers, we need to beat plastic pollution together to ensure a healthy and prosperous future.”

According to the government, the average waste thrown into the oceans by each Canadian is 706kg. The initiative is expected to reduce 30% of this waste by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

The initiative is expected to create more than 85,000 middle-class jobs by 2040 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15 million tonnes.