Identifying How Attitudes and Self-Directed Learning Affect the Perceived Barriers to Reducing Single-Use Plastics in the Back-Of-House of Ontario Restaurants

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Robinson, Emily
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University of Guelph

Single-use plastic consumption is a global issue, with foodservice packaging making up a large proportion. The literature has focussed on front-of-house single-use plastics, however the barriers to reducing single-use plastics in the back-of-house of Ontario restaurants is the focus of this study. This study uses qualitative interviews with small to medium sized restaurant operators in Ontario. This study finds that the most common barriers to reducing single-use plastics in the back-of-house are: cost, lack of time, and suppliers. The study also finds that there is a disconnect between the participants’ attitudes towards single-use plastic and their perceived barriers, and that self-directed learning is present amongst all participants but that a lack of access to resources for learning is a barrier in itself. This study has implications for restaurant owners and operators attempting to reduce their single-use plastic consumption, and for applying self-directed learning to a new context.

Sustainability, Single-Use Plastics, Restaurants, Foodservice, Back-Of-House, Ontario, Self-Directed Learning