Plastics reduction program to help restaurants cut waste

Conservation organization Ocean Wise is launching a program to help Canadian restaurants and food service businesses cut their addiction to single use plastics.

The program will help these businesses inventory their plastics use and and identify opportunities to reduce, replace, refuse, re-use, or better recycle harmful and unnecessary plastics.

Within the first year of joining, 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.

Free for a year

Ocean Wise is offering the program free of charge to restaurant and foodservice partners across Canada in its first year, using funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Vancity and Vivreau. The program will support partners in complying with the government of Canada’s proposed ban on single-use plastics, as well as any future regulatory changes.

“The Ocean Wise Plastic Reduction Program isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. We recognize that each business will be at a different point on their plastic-reduction journey, and we will work with restaurant partners to understand their plastic use, identify science-based solutions and set realistic targets,” said Laura Hardman, plastic free oceans leader at Ocean Wise.

“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.

Oceans initative

The Plastic Reduction Program is part of Ocean Wise’s Plastic Free Oceans initiative, which also includes extensive research on ocean plastic and microplastic pollution at the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab, 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.”
Canadians produce more garbage per capita than any other country in the world. Only nine percent of plastic collected in Canada is actually recycled, and 83 percent of plastic polluting the ocean derives from five product types commonly found in the foodservice industry: monomaterial films like cling wrap, multilayer films such as condiment packets, plastic bags, plastic bottles, and single-use food ware.
Ocean Wise invites restaurant and foodservice businesses across Canada 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