On World Oceans Day, Ocean Wise congratulates A&W Canada for taking the big step to eliminate all plastic straws from restaurants across Canada by the end of this year.

The Canadian company announced today, at the Vancouver Aquarium, that it will be the first quick-service restaurant chain in North America to make this commitment.

“Reducing waste from landfills is a top priority for A&W and this is one big way that we can make a difference,” said Susan Senecal, A&W Canada’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to make this change, which has been driven by the wishes of our guests, franchisees, and staff.”

Plastic straws will be replaced by a compostable, paper option at more than 925 locations across Canada – a step that will keep 82 million plastic straws out of landfills every year.

Ocean Wise CEO John Nightingale says the Canadian burger chain is championing new ways to do business to protect marine life.

“At Ocean Wise, we believe we all have a role to play in the protection of our ocean,” said Nightingale. “Consumers can make better choices around single use plastic and businesses can offer better options to their customers.”

According to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup annual Dirty Dozen round up this year, plastic straws were one of the top litter offenders. Stacked end-to-end, plastic straws found on global shorelines last year equaled 145 times the height of the One World Trade Centre in New York at 541 metres.

Once in the ocean, plastic from straws and other shoreline litter never goes away. It breaks up into increasingly tinier pieces of trash known as microplastics that can cause big problems in the ocean. Microplastics have been found in ocean organisms that support the ocean food chain, as well as in the seafood people eat.

Since 2010, A&W has taken steps to replace single use plastic with compostable packaging, real mugs, plates and cutlery in its restaurants – successfully diverting millions of single-use packaging from landfills every year.

Proof that your consumer voice counts – the national burger chain says it has reduced its single use plastic waste directly in response to customer demand.

You, too, can join the movement to protect our ocean.

Take the step to #BePlasticWise.

Sign the pledge and take the challenge!

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