SURFRIDER FOUNDATION’S OCEAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS PROGRAM
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 8.75 million metric tons being added every year. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems and wildlife including seabirds, dolphins, fish, turtles, and whales. Plastic fragments are even displacing plankton as 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 the source! The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program does just that. One restaurant, one customer at a time, it increases awareness, drives behavior change, and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic footprint.
Restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria:
- No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
- Proper recycling practices are followed.
- Only reusable foodware is used for onsite dining.*
- No plastic bags offered with take out or to-go orders and utensils are provided only upon request.
- Paper straws are provided only upon request.*** Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers.
** Exceptions may be made for alternatives made from other naturally occurring materials and reusables.
And choose a minimum of two of these criteria:
- No beverages are sold in plastic bottles.
- A discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, container, bag, etc.
- Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
- All seafood is ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch, or certified as sustainable.
- Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.
- Energy efficiency efforts are in place.
Restaurants who meet all of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member?