Did you know that a plastic bottle takes up to 450 years to break down? No wonder, then, that in 1994, a small team of employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a local beach in Stanley Park to help protect the city’s shorelines from litter and aquatic debris. Over the years, the Shoreline Cleanup initiative has grown into a national movement with more than 57,000 volunteers.
As the Shoreline Cleanup celebrates its 20th anniversary, Boughton Law takes great pride in being part of the program. On September 28th, our team of lawyers and staff gathered with their families at Jericho beach to remove shoreline litter and aquatic debris from this popular beach and ponds area. Equipped with garbage bags and trash pickers, kindly provided by the City of Vancouver’s ‘Keep Vancouver Spectacular!‘ campaign, our team collected over 60kg of garbage. While the most unusual item we picked up that day was a lawn chair hidden in the bushes, we were surprised to discover first-hand how many cigarette butts (over 600!) and bottle caps (105 to be exact) the beach was littered with.
All these items not only threaten wildlife through entanglement and ingestion but also reduce water quality and negatively impact delicate food webs. Keeping our West Coast shoreline clean and litter free can make a real difference. We look forward to the next Cleanups to come.