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Ocean Wise helping Canadian restaurants fight plastic waste (VIDEO)

Over 11 million tons of plastic ends up in oceans annually. 🌎

You may be thinking twice about using plastic cutlery for your next takeout meal.

Ocean Wise is using Earth Day as a springboard to step up the fight against plastic pollution.

The conservation organization has announced a new initiative supporting Canada's restaurants and foodservice industry. The Plastic Reduction Program will help reduce unnecessary plastic waste across the country.

Upon joining the program, restaurant partners will have one-on-one sessions with the Ocean Wise team and complete a survey to measure current plastic use and identify opportunities to reduce, replace, refuse, reuse, or better recycle harmful plastics.

Within the first year of joining, participants 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 helped in setting their own plastic reduction targets and be accountable for reporting their progress annually.

“We will work with restaurant partners to understand their plastic use, identify science-based solutions, and set realistic targets,” says Ocean Wise's Laura Hardman.

The program is being offered for free to restaurant and foodservice partners across Canada for their first year and then will continue with a nominal fee for participation.

According to Ocean Wise, Canadians produce more garbage per capita than any other nation in the world.

Only nine percent of plastic collected in the country is actually recycled and 83 percent of plastic polluting the ocean comes from products commonly found in the foodservice industry.