|dc.description.abstract||Plastics are ubiquitous in the marine environment with up to 90 percent of marine debris being composed of plastic. Plastic debris poses a serious threat to the marine environment killing millions of seabirds, thousands of marine mammals and turtles, and countless fish annually. Up to half of all plastic produced is thrown away after a single use. Single-use plastics (SUPs) are persistent in the environment, breaking down into microplastics over time, and constitute most of the top items found during shoreline and community cleanups. The food service industry is a major consumer of single-use plastics (SUPs). Due to its coastal proximity, overuse and improper disposal of SUPs in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) lead to many SUPs ending up in the ocean. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, this pilot project aimed to identify the main barriers to reducing SUPs in the HRM. Two sets of online surveys gauged interest in reducing SUP usage among community members and food-based businesses in the HRM. Follow up interviews with interested businesses aimed to understand concerns and challenges faced by business owners in their attempt to reduce SUPs. Results indicate overwhelming public interest in SUP reduction as well as concerns among businesses about sourcing alternatives that are appropriate for the HRM. Recommendations include increasing the accessibility of alternatives, a best practices guide for the HRM, and public education. This study can be used as a framework to adapt the Ocean Friendly Nova Scotia (OFNS) initiative for the HRM.
Keywords: marine plastic, single-use plastics (SUPs), food-based businesses, community members, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), barriers, interests, Ocean Friendly Nova Scotia (OFNS)||en_US