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.
How to Participate
Mandatory Criteria (All 5 Required):
- 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.**
Optional Criteria (Choose at least 2):
- 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.
* Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers.
** Exceptions may be made for alternatives made from other naturally occurring materials and reusables. Straws should be provided to anyone who needs one, including people with disabilities. Read more here.
Check out our Quick Guide for more tips to meet each of the criteria.
Review our Ocean Friendly Foodware Guide to learn about greenwashing, product alternatives, and creative ways to implement more reusables.
Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member?
- Ocean Friendly Restaurants marketing collateral including window stickers, brochures, table-tops, and bill inserts to show your membership to your customers.
- Use of Ocean Friendly Restaurants logos for restaurant menu, website and other restaurant marketing materials.
- Restaurant listed on Surfrider national and Seattle chapter website.
- Restaurant included in Ocean Friendly Restaurants national map on Surfrider national and Seattle chapter website.
- Launch parties and collaborative promotions with the Seattle Surfrider chapter.
- Access to national vendor discounts on sustainable restaurant and to-go products.
- Tax-deductible contribution.
- Association with a nationally recognized nonprofit with thousands of members and supporters working hard to keep our ocean healthy and protected!
The Ocean Friendly Restaurants membership fee is based on a sliding scale ranging from $125 to $175 annually for local businesses based on the number of employees at the restaurant.
1-20 Employees – $125 Annually
21-40 Employees – $150 Annually
41+ Employees – $175 Annually