business recognition program to reduce single-use plastics
A large portion of marine debris is made up of single-use plastic items commonly used by the food industry, like straws, bags, coffee cups, and take-out containers. Consumers and businesses are both increasingly adopting more sustainable practices by reducing their single-use plastic use, and we believe businesses should be recognized for these efforts. That’s where the Ocean Friendly Nova Scotia (OFNS) program comes in. Created by Coastal Action, this tiered recognition system encourages the elimination of single-use plastics at cafés and restaurants, while promoting these positive changes.
In 2019, 56% of the litter picked up along Nova Scotia's highways and shorelines came from the food and beverage industry. In October 2020, the Canadian government declared a ban on single-use plastic items to be rolled out by the end of 2021. Six items have been targeted based on the material’s lack of recycling capacity and impact to the environment:
• Grocery checkout bags
• Stir sticks
• Six-pack rings
• Plastic cutlery
• Food takeout containers
As Canada shifts away from disposable single-use plastics, OFNS is offering businesses support, resources, and access to alternatives. Food service businesses now have the opportunity to be recognized for the plastic items they have eliminated or are working to eliminate.
Ocean Friendly Nova Scotia is a voluntary program that recognizes the efforts businesses take to reduce single-use plastics in daily operations. The program uses a tiered recognition system (bronze, silver, gold) to acknowledge differing efforts towards sustainable practices. OFNS is focused on eliminating 8 single-use plastic categories:
Ocean Friendly businesses in the town of lunenburg (2019-2020)
The OFNS program began its pilot year in 2019, focusing on food service businesses, i.e cafés and restaurants. Ocean Friendly Nova Scotia's pilot year in Lunenburg was supported by Nova Scotia Environment.