TORONTO -- Roughly 80 per cent of what washes up on the Great Lakes shoreline is plastic.

“Even more concerning, using models that were designed for studying plastics in our oceans, we have found that upwards of 20 million kilograms or 22 million pounds of plastic could be entering the Great Lakes every year,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region.

In addition to polluting the water, plastic is causing harm to fish and wildlife.

“Litter is one of the sources of plastic that we are trying to address,” said Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe.

The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup (GLPC) has launched a new campaign called “Little Bits, Big Problems” to help tackle the problem.

GLPC is using two innovative technologies, called Seabins and LittaTrap, to stop litter from entering the water. The organization is teaming up with 26 marinas in Ontario, possibly 37 by the end of the summer, to use the devices in their communities.

“We’re trying to use technology in our marina partnerships to address the plastics pollution problem at a much more local and coastal scale,” Fisher said.

The goal is to use the findings and turn them into recommendations so governments can implement policies.

With boating season here, environmentalists are encouraging people to do what they can.

“We may not be able to get together in-person in big groups to do something, but you can get together with your family that you’re taking on your boat,” Hilkene said.

“Make sure you’re using alternatives to disposable plastics. When you are using reusable plastics make sure that they’re recyclable and that you properly recycle them.”

The campaign is made possible thanks to funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ontario government.