BC’s first ocean plastic depot will be opening at Augusta Recyclers in Powell River on October 26.
According to a media release from qathet Regional District (qRD) and Ocean Legacy Foundation, the depot will target materials collected from cleanup efforts, as well as legacy equipment from the marine sector, to divert landfill waste and reduce oceanic plastic pollution. The depot will provide a designated location for these materials to be properly contained and select items recycled.
The infrastructure and ocean plastic diversion program is made possible through a partnership with the Ocean Legacy Foundation, qRD and Augusta Recyclers, with funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, according to the release. A second depot will be opening this year in Tofino, in partnership with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.
“Ocean Legacy is excited to launch this opportunity with the Alberni-Clayoquot and qathet Regional District to reduce the pollution in our coastal communities and protect our precious marine environments,” stated Ocean Legacy president Chloé Dubois. “This development will provide critical infrastructure to capture plastic wastes, divert them from landfill and responsibly recycle items to not only support innovative technologies but further implement pragmatic solutions to grow the Canadian plastic circular economy.”
Abby McLennan, from qRD’s Let’s Talk Trash team, said the regional district is committed to its shoreline cleanup initiative and this new project continues to build on work done in the region over the past three years.
“We hope this depot facilitates increased collection and further supports our many event coordinators and community volunteers to rid our coastline of marine debris,” stated McLennan.
The depot will accept a variety of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), marine debris and legacy equipment, including some netting and rope, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), hard plastic and select buoys. Marine debris collected will be sent to the Ocean Legacy processing centre in Delta, where it will be further sorted, cleaned and recycled.