Nova Chemicals is backing an effort to keep plastic out of the Great Lakes.

The company, which makes polyethylene plastic in Lambton County, joined representatives of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup at the Andrew S. Brandt Marina at Sarnia Bay on Sept. 16 to announce Nova will provide $200,000 for the initiative combining capture and clean-up technologies with public messages encouraging reducing, reusing and recycling.

“We believe plastics play a vital role in keeping us safe and healthy,” said Rob Thompson, Nova Chemicals’ vice-president of manufacturing, Ontario operations.

“(But) plastics, absolutely, do not belong in our lakes, in our rivers or in our environment. That’s what we believe at Nova and we’re committed to making that stop.”

As a recreational boater and resident of the area, seeing litter and plastic on the shoreline “saddens me deeply,” Thompson said.

It is important for Nova, as the largest producer of polyethylene plastic in Canada, “to be a catalyst for change,” he added.

The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup was founded by the bi-national Council of the Great Lakes Region, Pollution Probe, Boating Ontario, the University of Toronto Trash Team and Ports Toronto. It’s using technology known as Seabins to aid research and remove plastics and other litter at marinas, including the marina on Sarnia Bay and nearby Bridgeview Marina.

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