Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain. So what’s the best way to combat this global epidemic facing our ocean? It’s simple: we need to stop the problem at its source! The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program does just that. One restaurant, one customer at a time, increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint.
The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to show their commitment to making sustainable choices for our ocean. Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member?
Restaurants participating must follow the first four criteria:
1. No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
2. Proper recycling practices are followed.
3. Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
4. No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.
And choose a minimum of three of these criteria as well:
5. Plastic straws are provided only upon request.
6. No beverages sold in plastic bottles.
7. Discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
8. Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis; and / or all seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.
9. Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.
10. Energy efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.
Check out this Quick Guide for Restaurants for specific ways to meet each of the criteria.
Restaurants who meet all 10 of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member?