GBF 2021 - Fall Newsletter

TRASH-TRAPPERS SHOW US WHAT’S BEING LITTERED By Nicole Dimond, Georgian Bay Forever Coordinator for Diversion 2.0 GUTTER BINS – STOPPING CIGARETTE BUTT POLLUTION AND MORE. As of August 25, 2021, GBF staff conducted 10 deep dive sorts (waste characterizations) of the collected trash from Collingwood Gutter Bins. These devices trap the trash at 8 storm drain locations preventing that pollution from getting into Georgian Bay. Each Gutter Bin has a bright coloured Mundus Bag that sits in the storm drain where it captures anything larger than 600 microns in size. Why are waste characterizations necessary and important? Well, “waste characterizations constitute an analysis of the contents collected by trash capturing devices,” says Plastic Pollution Program Assistant Bronwyn Kirby. “Devices are research tools, capturing pollution at various locations and conditions. Their contents provide insights to preventing pollution in the first place.” Major Takeaway: 89% of all litter items captured are plastic or have plastic components. And, at this time cigarette butts are the top pollution identifiable item being found in the Gutter Bins. Many cigarette butts unfortunately contain plastic fibres as well as harmful chemicals that can leach into the environment when littered. As we continue to identify the major pollution types being found in the Gutter Bins, it gives us the opportunity to work with you to develop and execute tailored programs to prevent littering of each major litter type at source. SEABINS — CATCHING FOAM AND MORE As of August 25, 2021, GBF Staff and volunteers have conducted 23 deep dive waste characterizations on GBF and Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Seabins located in Parry Sound, Penetanguishene, Midland, Honey Harbour and on Beausoleil Island. The Seabin is a floating trash bin that is attached to a floating dock and consists of an electric motor that pulls water through the device to capture pollution and debris 2mm and larger in a removable catch bag. 91% of the items characterized were plastic or had plastic parts. The number 1 litter item were small pieces of foam. One major source of this pollution, unencapsaulted foam from floating docks, will soon be eliminated thanks to your support of GBF's efforts to highlight this issue. MPP Miller's Bill 228, Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario's Lakes and Rivers Act, 2021, will outlaw unencapsulated polystyrene to be used in new floating docks, platforms and buoys in 2023. For more info on unencapsulated dock foam and alternates you can explore, please visit Going forward Thanks to you, we will continue to collect and remove large and small pieces of polystyrene during shoreline cleanups and with the help of the Seabins, as well as collect and monitor other sources of trash collected by these hardworking devices. TOP 4 IDENTIFIABLE LITTER TYPES Items # of Pieces Cigarette Butts 658 Foam Pieces 160 Film Pieces (Wraps, Labels) 149 Paper 70 *20 other categories 225 Total # of litter items 1,262 TOP 4 IDENTIFIABLE LITTER TYPES Items # of Pieces Foam Pieces 450 Film (Wraps, Labels) 195 Hard Fragments 110 Cardboard 32 *14 other categories 67 Total # of litter items 854 Look for us to do more on cigarette butt litter and continue to broadly educate around reducing single use-plastic consumption! Image One: Town of Collingwood staff remove a Gutter Bin from a street gutter in order to remove the collected litter from the Mundus bag. Image Two: A Seabin in action. Photo: WPS America. See image 1 below for an image of a Mundus Bag (Gutter Bin) GBF.ORG | FALL 2021 | 3