Fish have no idea they are eating microplastics.
You probably don't either.
Plastic microfibres are tiny strands less than 5 mm in size that get released from your synthetic clothes in the wash and end up in the millions in our lakes. Microfibres are the most common form of microplastics. Researchers have found plastic microfibres in Great Lakes fish, 80% of tap water sampled, and in Great Lakes beer. It is estimated that you consume at least 5800 plastic particles annually.

These plastic particles are capable of absorbing other toxic chemicals from the environment, and health impacts on humans are unknown at this time. While researchers ramp up studies, there is mounting evidence that plastic is hurting wildlife. N egative impacts can include decreased feeding and growth, endocrine disruption, decreased fertility, as well as other lethal and sub-lethal effects.

We're doing something about it with your help! Read about our new Divert and Capture project that is underway.
3 programs to Divert and Capture microplastics/fibres pollution from Georgian Bay
1. Parry Sound
Washing Machine
Filter Study

What is it?
Samples will be collected from 100+ households and the Town's effluent in order to quantify how many microfibres can be captured by household washing machines by using special filters, and thus diverting them from Georgian Bay.

How will it change things?
When this 2.5 year project is completed, results will be shared with the public, industry, government, and other stakeholders to increase diversion of microfibres from our water.

 Can I do something?
If you know someone in Parry Sound, pass on these opportunities to help this research. If you are curious about the filter, check it out .
2. Fast Fashion Faux-pas
Learning about more Sustainable Choices

What is it?
Plastic consumption, including in the form of clothing and the many clothes we wear, is getting into our water, our air, our food, and causing greenhouse gas emissions through clothing waste.

GBF will be working on several plastic pollution awareness initiatives, and provide tools and actions that families and individuals can take to reduce the plastic piling up in the environment.

How will it change things?
It is the human or anthropogenic age. That means our behaviours are changing earth's systems with dire consequences.

We'll be working with Georgian Bayers to change unnecessary plastic use and improper disposal.

Can I do something now?
Launder less and check out the 7 R's for Fashion Lovers by Fashion Takes Action.
3. Join the Plastic Grab Crew
Cleaning up Shorelines

What is it?
GBF will be helping coordinate trash teams all over Georgian Bay to collect and measure the litter picked up on shorelines and diverted from the water.

How will it change things?
So much plastic litter ends up on our shorelines. For example, 16 tons of plastic was collected from Great Lakes beaches in 2017 by volunteers organized by the Alliance for the Great Lakes. This writer routinely and sadly finds litter along Georgian Bay coasts. ( video ). From weathering, large pieces of plastic can turn into microplastics and get into the water and aquatic ecosystem.
Progress and Status:

  • GBF is recruiting 100+ Parry Sound volunteers and their washing machines. We already have about 1/3.
  • GBF is working with its committees and hiring a project coordinator to make tools available to you to reduce your plastic consumption.
  • GBF is working to create a summer program to help Georgian Bay communities pick-up their litter and measure how much was diverted from the water. Help us pick a #GBFTrashTeam logo.
  • GBF is working to spread the message. See the media buzz you have already helped us create.
  • GBF continues to raise money for this project in order to expand its reach to more Georgian Bayers. We appreciate every donation. To learn more about microplastics and this project, visit this microplastics link.

You know we're doing it on invasive Phragmites, lets get tackling the plastic pollution problem.
We look forward to working with you.
Microplastics Parry Sound
Our sincerest thanks to all for their investment in this initiative.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.
Ce projet a été realisé avec l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l’entremise du ministère fédéral de l’Environnement et du Changement climatique.

 Further funding and assistance for Divert and Capture: The fight to keep microplastics out of our water , was provided by the RBC Foundation, Patagonia, the Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation, and our many passionate donors.
GBF wishes to acknowledge the support of these partners :

The Rochman Laboratory at the University of Toronto, the Town of Parry Sound, the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, t he Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks , and our many community volunteers!