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? Contact us today!
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.
Restaurants who meet all 10 of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
Why this matters? Plastic Pollution Facts
Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day.
- An estimated 100 billion plastic bags are used ANNUALLY in the United States.
- An estimated 500 million straws are used DAILY in the United States.
- 49.4 billion plastic water bottles were sold in one year’s time with only 31.1% recycled, leaving roughly 34 billion plastic bottles that were littered or went into a landfill in 2015.
- Restaurants use an average of 5,800 gallons of water per day
- Plastic does not biodegrade so virtually every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some form today!
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?