Powell River will soon be home to the province’s first ocean plastic depot.

It’ll be at Augusta Recyclers and will officially open on Oct. 26th.

The depot will accept materials collected from ocean cleanup efforts, along with legacy equipment from the marine sector.

The goal is to reduce the amount of plastic taken to the landfill, and reduce oceanic plastic pollution. 

The Ocean Plastic Depot will provide a designated location for these materials to be properly contained, with select items then recycled. 

This infrastructure and ocean plastic diversion program is made possible through a partnership with the Ocean Legacy Foundation and qathet Regional District, with funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 

A second depot will be opening as well this year in Tofino, British Columbia in partnership with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

Ocean Legacy Foundation president Chloé Dubois said they’re excited to launch this opportunity with the Alberni-Clayoquot and qathet Regional Districts “to reduce the pollution in our coastal communities and protect our precious marine environments.” 

“This development will provide critical infrastructure to capture plastic wastes, divert them from landfill and responsibly recycle items to not only support innovative technologies but further implement pragmatic solutions to grow the Canadian plastic circular economy,” Dubois added.

Abby McLennan with the qathet Regional District’s Let’s Talk Trash team said the district is committed to its shoreline cleanup initiative.

“This new project continues to build on the outstanding work that has been done in the region over the past three years,” McLennan said. “We hope this depot facilitates increased collection and further supports our many event coordinators and community volunteers to rid our coastline of marine debris.”

Augusta Recyclers is at 7346 Hwy 101. To register and gain access to the depot, please contact Let’s Talk Trash either by email, info@letstalktrash.ca, or call 604-485-2260.

The depot accepts a variety of abandoned, lost, discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), marine debris, and legacy equipment including some netting and rope, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), hard plastic and select buoys. 

Marine debris collected at the depot will be sent to the Ocean Legacy processing centre in Delta, where it will be further sorted, cleaned and recycled throughout the project during nighttime hours.

More details are available on www.letstalktrash.ca, qathet.ca and www.oceanlegacy.ca.