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Mount Waddington Regional District welcomes ocean plastic depot

Debris from the shoreline, ocean and industrial cleanups can now be collected and sorted at a new depot.

The new ocean plastic depot is located at 7 Mile Landfill and Recycling Centre on Highway 19 between Port McNeill and the Port Alice junction. It is now accepting materials like abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear, marine debris, netting, rope, styrofoam, hard plastic and some buoys.

The materials are sent to the Ocean Legacy processing centre at Steveston Harbour, B.C., where it is further sorted, cleaned and recycled.

Opened through a partnership with Ocean Legacy Foundation, Mount Waddington Regional District chair Andrew Hory says the facility will help benefit the community and its surroundings.

“We are really excited about our partnership with Ocean Legacy and the creation of the ocean plastics depot at 7 Mile Landfill,” said Hory.

“This program enables the [district] to build on our collection and recycling efforts by adding ocean plastics to the list. Removing plastic wastes from our oceans and shorelines, then collecting them locally, directly benefits the environmental health of our community.”

Executive director of Ocean Legacy Foundation Chloé Dubois says the development will add to their capabilities to process materials.

“Ocean Legacy is excited to launch this opportunity to reduce the pollution in our coastal communities and protect our precious marine environments,” said Dubois.

“This development continues to enhance our growing capacity to capture wasted plastics, divert them from landfills, and repurpose the materials in a way that fuels innovative manufacturing technologies, which support the Canadian plastic circular economy.”

The depot is the fourth of its kind in B.C., with others located in Powell River, Ucluelet and Cumberland. They add more are under development in Prince Rupert and the Lower Sunshine Coast.

Ocean Legacy says the program forms a part of its national strategy in addressing plastic pollution.

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