REDUCING PLASTIC WASTE
One Restaurant at a Time
The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to show their commitment to making sustainable choices for our ocean. The program increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce plastic waste. Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member? Sign up below!
We have so many amazing restaurants in Monterey County, and many diners visit or live here because they love our beautiful bay and coastline. Restaurants are big contributors to the trash we find in our beach cleanups. Ocean Friendly Restaurants are committed to protecting the ocean by cutting styrofoam, single-use containers, and cutting back on plastic straws.
Our Ocean Friendly Restaurant program was founded by students at Chartwell School.
WHAT MAKES A RESTAURANT OCEAN FRIENDLY?
Restaurants participating must follow these seven criteria:
- Only reusable foodware is used for onsite dining.*
- Paper straws are provided only upon request.**
- No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
- No plastic bags are used for takeout or to-go orders.
- Single-use utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items are provided only upon request.
- Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles.
- Proper recycling practices are followed.
* Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers.
** Exceptions may be made for naturally occurring materials (e.g. hay, bamboo) and reusables (e.g. metal, glass), not including bio-based plastic. Straws should be provided to anyone who needs one, including people with disabilities. Read more here.
And choose a minimum of three of these criteria:
- A discount is offered for customers with a reusable item (e.g. cup, container, bag).
- Vegetarian and vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
- All seafood is ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch, or no seafood is served.*
- Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.**
- Energy efficiency efforts are in place.***
- Concessions and pre-packaged food items are not sold in plastic packaging.
- Composting efforts are in place for food waste.
- Neither single-use plastic nor bio-based plastic containers are used for takeout or to-go orders, reusable containers are preferred.
* Locally sourced, sustainable seafood is preferred and should be prioritized when Seafood Watch recommendations do not apply.
** Examples include installing low-flow faucets and toilets, offering drinking water upon request only, no hosing down outside to reduce urban runoff, proper disposal of FOG, and up-to-date septic or sewage to prevent wastewater pollution.
*** Examples include switching to LED lighting, installing solar panels, using Energy Star certified appliances and/or other efforts to use less energy.
Restaurants who meet all of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.