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Shoreline documentary brings awareness to plastic pollution in Lake Ontario

Plastics collected from the shores of Lake Ontario. Image courtesy of A Greener Future.

Shoreline: The Paddle Against Plastic, A Greener Future’s documentary exploring plastic pollution in Lake Ontario, has been released by Vimeo and is now available to stream online.

The documentary follows Rochelle Byrne, founder of A Greener Future, as she paddles the edge of Lake Ontario and brings awareness to lake pollution from plastics, and how it’s affecting our water systems. During the summer of 2020, Byrne embarked on the 430 km stand-up paddleboard journey along the Lake Ontario shoreline from Kingston to Niagara-on-the-Lake. She spent 92 hours over 18 days bringing awareness to the impact just one person can make with enough determination.

Rochelle Byrne with her paddleboard. Image courtesy of A Greener Future.

In April, A Greener Future held a virtual screening of the documentary, with the ticket sales going toward cleanup efforts along the shores of Lake Ontario. On Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, the organization released the documentary, to raise awareness about plastic pollution under the looming shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a media release from the organization.

Receiving Impact Docs Award of Recognition: Documentary Feature and Impact Docs Award of Recognition: Contemporary Issues/Awareness Raising in July, Shoreline highlights the intersections between recreation and environmental stewardship.

Having done hundreds of litter cleanups along the shores of Lake Ontario, Byrne has seen the effects of plastic pollution on the lake firsthand, according to the release. So, when the pandemic stifled plans to run public litter cleanups in 2020, Byrne took to her paddleboard to try and make a difference.

“I am so happy that this film is now out in the world,” Byrne said. “Lake Ontario needs a lot of help, and there are so many people who are unaware of the high levels of plastic pollution in the Lake. This film provides an opportunity for viewers to learn about the problem and be inspired to take action.”

To date, A Greener Future’s volunteers have picked up more than 2.6 million pieces of litter from the shores of Lake Ontario and beyond. With the documentary releasing one day ahead of World Cleanup Day, A Greener Future’s volunteers were encouraged to continue their work in the month-long Butt Blitz campaign with the hard-hitting goal of picking up 1 million cigarette butts from across Canada throughout this September, according to the release. 

To preview the trailer and rent Shoreline: The Paddle Against Plastic, visit https://vimeo.com/ondemand/shoreline. 100 per cent of funds raised from the film will go towards A Greener Future’s local water protection programs.

Viewers wishing to host a community screening or educators to showcase the film in a classroom setting followed by questions and answers with Rochelle Byrne, please contact Rochelle at [email protected].

To learn more about plastic pollution, local cleanup programs, and ways to support it, visit www.agreenerfuture.ca.

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