We don’t like single-use plastics here at the Jersey Shore. We’re constantly working on ways to reduce the amount used along our beautiful stretch of coastline. It’s why we fully embraced the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program that Surfrider has put together. Below are the current restaurants that have qualified as Ocean Friendly Restaurants in New Jersey:
There are more OFR’s in Atlantic and Cape May counties listed with the South Jersey Chapter of Surfrider Foundation here.
So how can your restaurant join the ranks of these environmentally friendly restaurants? All it takes is a few simple changes to how you do business.
Restaurants participating must follow the first seven criteria:
- 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.**
- Single-use utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items are provided only upon request.
- Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles.
* Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers.
** Exceptions may be made for alternatives made from other naturally occurring materials and reusables, not including bio-based plastic. Straws should be provided to anyone who needs one, including people with disabilities.
And choose a minimum of three of these criteria:
- 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.***
- 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 that meet all of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member? Please contact us today.
Check out this Quick Guide for Restaurants for ways to meet each of the criteria.