Plastic Pollution Toolkit

Researchers estimate that more than 22 million pounds of plastic pollution enter the Great Lakes every year. Beach cleanups and personal behavior changes alone won’t solve this problem. It’s going to take policy action at all levels to protect our lakes against plastic pollution — and it can start with you.
That’s why we’re excited to share our brand new resource to help you fight plastic pollution, Plastic-Free Great Lakes: An Advocacy Toolkit to Make a Difference in Your Community.
In the toolkit, we provide information on plastic pollution in the Great Lakes and tools designed to help you:
  • Understand our Great Lakes plastic pollution problem,
  • Learn how communities have taken action to reduce plastic pollution, and
  • Become a plastic-free Great Lakes champion in your community.


Earlier today, we hosted a webinar to release the toolkit along with partners at Access Living and Shedd Aquarium. We discussed inclusive policy-making and advocacy efforts to reduce plastic pollution. Find a recap and recording here.
Download the toolkit here

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The Great Lakes make up 84% of North America’s surface fresh water and about 21% of the world’s supply of surface fresh water.

The Great Lakes water system is the largest inland shipping system in the world.

The only Great Lake entirely within the U.S. is Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan’s shores hold the largest fresh water sand dunes in the world.

The Great Lakes were formed due to glacial movements that caused depressions in the earth that eventually filled with water.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are considered one lake hydrologically since they are connected by the Straits of Mackinac.

Although it falls under the category of what we define as a lake, Lake Superior acts more like an inland sea.

There are 9,000-year-old animal-herding structures below Lake Huron.

The Lake Huron shoreline extends 3,827 miles and encompasses 30,000 islands. It is the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes.

The water in Lake Erie is recycled every 2.6 years, the shortest of any Great Lake.


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