A Vancouver-based conservation organization has launched an innovative program to help food-related businesses reduce the amount of plastics entering the ocean each year.
The program will support food businesses in reducing unnecessary plastic waste, helping reduce the more than 11 million tons of plastic litter entering the ocean each year and protecting the ocean and aquatic life.
Ocean Wise is an independent charitable non-profit focused on tackling three major ocean challenges: overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change.
The Plastic Reduction Program is a new pillar of its Plastic Free Oceans initiative, which also includes extensive research on ocean plastic and microplastic pollution, the Plastic Wise Pledge and The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
“Ocean Wise has developed the Plastic Reduction Program in response to the increase in harmful single-use plastics making their way into our oceans,” says Lasse Gustavsson, President and CEO of Ocean Wise Conservation Association. “We’re proud to help support and champion restaurants and foodservice businesses on their journey to reduce unnecessary plastic waste.”
The program will be free to restaurant and foodservice partners across Canada in its first year, thanks to generous funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Vancity and Vivreau.
After restaurant partners join the program, a survey will measure current plastic use and identify opportunities to reduce, replace, refuse, re-use, or better recycle harmful and unnecessary plastics.
Participating businesses will be supported in eliminating single-use plastic bags, foamed plastic, plastic straws (except to meet accessibility requirements) and single-use food ware for onsite dining, if they haven’t already. Businesses will also be supported in setting their own plastic-reduction targets and reporting their progress annually.
Recognizing restaurants are at different places in reducing plastic use, the program will help restaurants understand their plastic use, identify science-based solutions and set realistic targets.
“In addition to knowing that they are doing their part to protect our environment and oceans, we anticipate partner businesses will see benefits and support from their customers, as well as a reduction in their waste-removal fees,” says Laura Hardman, Plastic Free Oceans Leader at Ocean Wise.
Restaurant and foodservice businesses across Canada are invited to join the movement to protect the ocean from plastic waste by becoming an Ocean Wise Plastic Reduction Program partner. For more information or to register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit plasticreduction.ocean.org. Individuals are also invited to visit the site where they can learn more, measure their impact and take the Plastic Pledge.
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