Consumers International—an organization created to ensure everyone in the marketplace is treated fairly—held its annual World Consumer Rights Day events this month with a focus on tackling plastic pollution.

Consumers came together to address and tackle plastic pollution through the #NoPlasticPollution photo action, a global photo activity sharing examples of themselves and other consumers tackling plastic pollution in their daily lives using the 7 R’s Model of Waste Management: replace, rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair.  

Every year, Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, only 9% of which is recycled, meaning the vast majority of plastics end up in landfills and about 29,000 tonnes finds its way into our natural environment. 

On March 9, Consumers International hosted its World Consumer Rights Day 2021: Leadership Perspectives webinar. Leaders from the consumer movement, businesses and civil society discussed the importance of sustainable consumption, future targets and the essential role of consumer advocacy in the fight against plastic pollution. 

Some of the participating organizations include The Body Shop, Polymateria, Greenpeace and the Danish Consumer Council.

World Consumer Rights Day was originally enacted by former U.S. president John F. Kennedy on March 15, 1962. At that time, he outlined four basic consumer rights: “The right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose and the right to be heard.”

Consumers International continues to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day and has been selecting a different theme for its events every year since 2014 based on an issue that is important to consumers everywhere.

“It’s a day, March 15, every year where we celebrate consumer protection and consumer empowerment,” said Helena Leurent, director general of Consumers International, in her special message released on World Consumer Rights Day 2021. “We celebrate and we thank the people who work in consumer protection, to make sure that we have a fairer, safer and more sustainable marketplace for everyone.”

Consumers International intends to achieve global impact for consumers and continue to advocate for sustainable consumption. 

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