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Citizens’ Guide to Pollution Prevention NOW AVAILABLE
March 28, 2005

The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy has released its Citizens’ Guide to Pollution Prevention, which discusses the many ways Canadians can undertake pollution prevention (P2). The 48 page guide focuses on toxic pollution from such substances as mercury, lead, dioxins, volatile organic compounds and ‘gender-bender’ endocrine disruptors, and provides resources and recommendations for Canadians.

Researched and written with the help of the Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention, the Guide explains the sources of toxic pollution in Canada, what is currently being done about it, and the reasons that citizens should be concerned. The Guide’s emphasis is on alerting Canadians to a situation where the earth, as some scientists believe to now be the case, is experiencing “a death by a thousand tiny cuts.” The Guide provides recommendations and resources for Canadians interested in averting this outcome.

While pollution prevention and waste treatment or management are often viewed to be the same, the guide makes a clear distinction: pollution prevention is the use of processes, practices, materials, products, substances or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste, and reduce the overall risk to human health and the environment, while waste management deals with existing pollution.
The Guide outlines Four Steps to P2 for individual Canadians:

The Guide provides detailed discussions about the kind of choices Canadians can make in order to do their part in P2 with regard to such things as home cleaning and maintenance, personal care products, lawn care and gardening, vehicles and boats, and community action.

The Citizens’ Guide to Pollution Prevention makes recommendations for the following sectors:

Government: improving the development and implementation of policies and regulations could advance pollution prevention; pollution prevention should continue to be a national priority, and governments should take responsibility for maintaining and improving opportunities for exchanging ideas and facilitating the coordination of efforts to enhance pollution prevention between different stakeholders.

Industry: every organization or facility should be committed to pollution prevention; information sharing among industry representatives should be a priority, and pollution prevention planning should be an ongoing process within every business.

Institutions: as highly visible members of the community, they should practice pollution prevention to set an example.

Citizens: Every citizen should be responsible for making smart and informed choices about the purchase and disposal of products – staying informed and informing others about environmentally friendly products and ways of doing things will help reduce our impact on the environment.

The Citizens’ Guide to Pollution Prevention, along with numerous other CIELAP Citizen’s Guides and publications, is available in PDF form on the CIELAP website at www.cielap.org. For multiple and bound copies, please contact Iana Nikolova at interns@cielap.org or Telephone (416) 923-3529 x26.

Founded in 1970, the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy is an independent, not-for-profit research and educational organization whose mission is to provide leadership in the research and development of environmental law and policy that promotes the public interest and sustainability.

The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy has for been commenting on and monitoring policy and regulatory changes related to the environment for 30 years.