Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR’s)
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 our ocean impacting marine ecosystems and wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles. The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program seeks to stop plastic pollution at its source. One restaurant, one customer at a time, the program increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint. Get started by connecting with an OFR Program on your island!
What Makes a Restaurant “Ocean Friendly?”
The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to demonstrate their commitment to making sustainable choices for our ocean.
To qualify, restaurants must follow 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 for takeout and to-go orders.
- *NEW* Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles.
- Proper recycling practices are followed.
*Exemptions for food trucks and restaurants with 6 or less tables apply.
**Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers.
And choose a minimum of three of the following 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 certified as sustainable.
- Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.
- Energy efficiency efforts are in place.
- *NEW* Concessions and pre-packaged food items are not sold in plastic packaging.
- *NEW* Composting efforts are in place for food waste.
- *NEW* Neither single-use plastic nor bio-based plastic containers are used for takeout or to-go orders, reusable containers are preferred.
Restaurants who meet all 15 of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.