Press Release


Washington DC, April 22, 2024 – EARTHDAY.ORG, the force behind Earth Day, is partnering with Oceana in Canada, to draw attention to the devastating consequences of plastic pollution on wildlife and the impact of microplastics and their toxic chemicals on human health.

As governments of the world gather in Ottawa, Canada, for the United Nations Global Plastic Treaty (INC-4) to negotiate how the growing global plastic problem can be curbed, the plastic industry must come clean on the impact of plastics on the environment and human health.

To help illuminate the issues – EARTHDAY.ORG and Oceana in Canada projected key messages onto prominent buildings in Ottawa, including the Supreme Court and Parliament Buildings: PLASTIC IS TOXIC, WE KNOW YOU KNOW, and IF PLASTIC WINS, WE LOSE.


“The plastic industry is coming to Ottawa to sell the idea that recycling is the key to solving the plastic problem the world faces. They will claim the solution is a circular plastic economy,” said Kathleen Rogers, the President of EARTHDAY.ORG. “Yet they know, we recycle less than 10% of our plastic worldwide, and a circular economy for plastics, doesn’t address the growing research on how microplastics and their additive chemicals impact human health. Plastics break down into tiny fragments called microplastics and are associated with a whole range of serious issues – from strokes, to cancers, male infertility, even obesity. The only solution is to cap plastic production globally. We know the industry will fight to prevent any reduction in plastic production – we will fight harder to see it done.”

“We can’t delay solving this crisis. Plastic pollution knows no borders and stands as the second most pressing environmental issue behind climate change. The devastation caused by plastic pollution in the ocean is undeniable, with floating islands of garbage, whales found dead on beaches with stomachs

full of plastic bags, seabirds starving due to plastic entanglement and seafood contaminated with microplastics,” said Anthony Merante, Senior Plastics Campaigner for Oceana in Canada. “Canada needs a comprehensive, government-wide strategy, with strong legislation and corporate action to end plastic pollution now. As host to INC-4, Canada must demonstrate bold and unwavering domestic and global leadership.”

“What does the plastic industry know about the connection between plastics, microplastics and their additive chemicals and their terrible impact on human health?” said Tom Cosgrove, Chief Creative and Content Officer, EARTHDAY.ORG. “What is the industry hiding and when are they going to start being made accountable?”


EARTHDAY.ORG’s founders created and organized the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. Since then, EARTHDAY.ORG has mobilized over 1 billion people annually on Earth Day to protect the planet. EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental community worldwide. EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in nearly 192 countries to build environmental democracy. Learn more at EARTHDAY.ORG.

Media contact: Sarah Davies, EARTHDAY.ORG, [email protected], + 1-240-463-1341

Oceana Canada: ( was established as an independent charity in 2015 and is part of the largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana Canada has successfully campaigned in Canada to end the shark fin trade, make rebuilding depleted fish populations the law, improve the way fisheries are managed and protect marine habitat. We work with civil society, academics, fishers, Indigenous Peoples and the government to return Canada’s formerly vibrant oceans to health and abundance. By restoring Canada’s oceans, we can strengthen our communities, reap greater economic and nutritional benefits and protect our future.

Media contact: Vaishali Dassani, Oceana Canada, [email protected], +1-647-294-3335