Ocean Friendly Restaurants

In response to the increase in plastic pollution in coastal zones and ocean gyres, Surfrider Foundation’s Palm Beach County Chapter and Loggerhead Marinelife Center have partnered to bring the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program to Palm Beach County.

“The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program is designed to work with local restaurants and cafés to institute self-regulated ocean-friendly policies,” said Tommy Cutt, LMC’s Chief Conservation Officer. “Through educational workshops on marine conservation and ocean-friendly practices, along with recognition through this certification program, we hope to significantly reduce disposable waste in our oceans and on local beaches.”

“The ocean is turning into a plastic soup,” said Terry Hamilton, Chair of Surfrider Foundation’s Palm Beach County Chapter. “Our local beach cleanups routinely collect huge amounts of plastic straws, foam takeout containers, and plastic utensils. The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program has successfully partnered with businesses across the country, from Hawaii to California to South Carolina, and we’re thrilled to bring the program to Palm Beach County.”

Restaurants participating in the OFR program must abide by the following criteria:
1. Discontinue offering expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam).
2. Follow proper recycling practices.
3. Only offer reusable tableware for onsite dining and provide takeout utensils only upon request.
4. Eliminate the use of plastic bags.

They must also abide by at least three of the following criteria:
5. Provide plastic straws only upon request.
6. Eliminate the sale of beverages in plastic bottles.
7. Offer discounts to customers with reusable cups, mugs, bags, etc.
8. Regularly offer vegetarian/vegan food options. All seafood must be a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” as defined by Seafood Watch.
9. Use water conservation appliances such as low-flow faucets and toilets.
10. Use energy efficient devices such as LED lighting.

Establishments that implement all ten criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant. LMC’s own Tortuga Café was the first to participate when plastic bottles were eliminated from campus in April 2017.

Palm Beach County restaurant owners and managers interested in participating can contact Tommy at tcutt@marinelife.org.

One Comment on “Ocean Friendly Restaurants

  1. Great ideas…. some of our beach front restaurants here on Floridas West Coast are no longer using straws & when customers request them, they are paper now! Great work Loggerhead

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