Canadian Plastics

Feds request research proposals to address northern plastic pollution

Canadian Plastics   

Canadian Plastics Research & Development Sustainability

The proposals are for study of contaminants from other parts of the world that end up in Canada's North and Arctic.

Canada’s federal government is looking for proposals for research and monitoring of plastic waste that originates in other parts of the world and is transported through air and sea currents to Canada’s North and Arctic.

In a Feb. 6 news release, government officials said this includes work pertaining to so-called “forever chemicals” or persistent organic pollutants and mercury, as well as microplastic and other plastic pollution in the North.

As part of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s “Northern Contaminants Program,” $2,665,000 is available in 2023-2024 for new projects related to human health, environmental and community-based monitoring and research, and related public outreach initiatives, with over $850,000 identified for activities contributing to Canada’s Plastics Science Agenda.

Applicants have until March 8, 2023 to submit their proposals. Projects selected for funding will be announced in summer 2023.


“Together, with Indigenous partners, scientists are assessing the presence of contaminants and plastics pollution in Northern and Arctic communities,” the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, said in the release. “These partnerships will lead to solutions to reduce the presence of contaminants in local food sources, including traditionally harvested country foods integral to Indigenous culture and food security in the North and Arctic.”

The Northern Contaminants Program supports the research and monitoring of contaminants that are transported to the Arctic through atmospheric and oceanic processes from other parts of the world, including persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals (particularly mercury), and other contaminants of concern for Arctic regions, such as microplastics. The program has an annual budget of approximately $5.1 million, including $1 million per year until 2026-27 as part of the Government of Canada’s initiatives on plastic waste and pollution reduction. In the 2022–2023 project year, 54 projects were selected for funding from the Northern Contaminants Program.


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