The Four Winds brigade is a disposable plastics free event! No disposable water bottles, or packaging! Plastics are forever, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, but they never disappear. they become incorporated into living organisms (including us) , and the biological effects are now being studied. But they are so ubiquitous, that ecological effects are inevitable. See http://www.ottawariverkeeper.ca/study-confirms-microplastic-pollution-in-the-ottawa-river-watershed/. Studies show that micro-plastic pollution is also significant in the Rideau. No one has looked in the Gatineau River yet.