This Canadian Organization is Making a Difference for People Living Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast

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Natasha Tucker, Executive Director © Amy Payne/Ocean Glow Photography

Natasha Tucker’s passion for fighting plastic pollution began with a gut-punch moment.

While working at the Vancouver Aquarium, Tucker met a rescued, non-releasable dolphin whose fins were partially amputated due to fishing gear entanglement. This heartbreaking experience made Tucker immediately search for a way to take action against the plastic pollution that caused these injuries.

“I saw immediately that this was because of us, people, and from human plastic pollution,” she says. “I knew I had to do something. Then, I found Mind Your Plastic.”

Since joining the Canadian non-profit three years ago as Executive Director, Tucker has worked daily to inspire others in Canada to take action by donating to support Mind Your Plastic’s mission to end plastic pollution in Canada.

“Change starts at the local level,” she says. “It’s up to us to show that the demand for change is here.”

Local Action is Key

That aquarium encounter was not the only experience that inspired Tucker to action. Other experiences like working in retail management—and helping open big-box stores—came with witnessing tons of plastic waste.

“I saw how much got thrown out, and it didn’t sit well with me,” she says.

© Pexels/Tom Fisk

Plastic waste in business is among what Mind Your Plastic is seeking to end via its three key programs: the Circular Economy Ambassador Program (CEAP) for educators and youth, the Plastic-Free Events Policy Program for municipalities, and the Plastic Awareness and Reduction Toolkits (PART) Program for businesses.

When people donate to Mind Your Plastic, their dollars directly support these programs and help them effect change. Through direct partnerships with local educators, municipalities and businesses, these programs connect Canadians with direct ways to take action. The CEAP program, for example, helps teachers educate youth about the circular economy, lead local cleanups, and track collected waste.

The five-year goal for these programs, according to Tucker, is for them to begin to inform each other. Cleanup data informs a national database, becoming a tool to use in meetings with municipalities. These meetings then inspire policy, which, when created, limits plastic waste in events and businesses.

“The goal is for us to use this data and say, ‘this is what’s happening. This is an opportunity to change this.’ And when policy follows, we engage businesses with toolkits and help them transition from single-use plastics to more circular alternatives,” she says.

Policy as a tool for change

The blame game is another area in need of transition, according to Tucker, who says that big corporations, not consumers, should carry the onus to solve Canada’s plastic pollution problem.

“It’s felt for a long time like the onus is placed on the consumer,” says Tucker. “That needs to stop.”

Tucker says this perspective can be shifted by individuals creating public pressure—for example, pushing for policy—and using their dollars to support more sustainable, circular alternatives until these policy changes happen.

“This makes policy a valuable tool. And big business may say there’s no interest, but we know there is,” she says. “Let’s use our dollars to prove that, and challenge policymakers to help make change happen.”

Your donation to Mind Your Plastic helps end plastic pollution in Canada. Learn more at mindyourplastic.ca

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With your donations supporting us, and by creating a circular economy that no longer relies on single-use plastics, we move towards a plastic pollution-free Canada. 

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