Plastic pollution is an escalating global issue, prompting many national and local governments to take action on single-use plastic items; however, many of these strategies impact small restaurants. This research paper considers the City of Vancouver’s Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy (SUIRS) in terms of potential impacts on small restaurants in the West End neighbourhood. It examines types of packaging materials used, factors that affect whether a restaurant uses sustainable packaging, and the motivations and barriers for doing so. Data was gathered through a questionnaire and conversations with restaurant owners and managers. Over half of respondents identified management values as the primary reason for adopting sustainable packaging, and nearly a quarter of respondents identified cost as a key barrier. Although small restaurants face significant barriers, there are opportunities for local government interventions to inspire innovation and collaboration to assist in the transition away from single-use items in the restaurant industry.
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