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Surfrider SLO Launches OFR Program

ofr-press-conf-001 OFR Program Coordinator Cynthia Replogle, Mayor Shelly Higginbotham, Chop Street Owner Matt Shea and Chair Brad Snook

PISMO BEACH, CA (September 17, 2016) – The Surfrider Foundation’s San Luis Obispo Chapter has launched the Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) program, which works with San Luis Obispo County eateries to institute self­-regulated ocean-friendly practices that reduce disposable plastic waste which sometimes ends up littering our beaches and ocean.

“Plastic food service items are six of the ten top litter types collected in SLO County beach cleanups,” said Cynthia Replogle, the OFR program coordinator. “This means that restaurants can have a tremendous impact on our ocean and beaches by adopting ocean-friendly practices.”

The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program was officially unveiled at Pismo Pier following Saturday’s International Coastal Cleanup Day event. “We collected less restaurant waste on this stretch of beach than in prior years,” said Surfrider SLO’s Chair, Brad Snook, “but there is still more we can do to keep plastic trash off of the sand and out of the water.”

Two Pismo Beach restaurants, Chop Street and Honeymoon Cafe, are the first to join the program. Matt Shea, owner of Chop Street, came out to the Pier to support the program along with Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham. Shea said that his restaurant believes it’s better business to limit waste, maintain a solid recycling program, and use environmentally-responsible products. “Joining the 'Ocean Friendly' program was easy and something our staff believes in and is excited about.”

Mayor Higginbotham said that she “fully supports the efforts of restaurants to reduce the use of non-recyclable items, provide items upon request and all efforts to improve our environment for today and the future.”

The OFR program rewards restaurants that agree to voluntary practices that decrease the use of plastic food service items, including Styrofoam containers, plastic bags, straws, and disposable cups and utensils. Restaurants that adopt ocean-friendly policies are eligible for marketing and promotional support from Surfrider.

An Ocean Friendly Restaurant meets the following four requirements:

  1. No styrofoam use

  2. Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining

  3. Proper recycling practices are followed throughout the restaurant

  4. Plastic bags are not used to carry out food

An Ocean Friendly Restaurant must also meet at least three of the following six criteria:

  1. Plastic straws are provided only upon request

  2. Takeout food and beverage containers are recycled, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable

  3. Takeout bags are provided only upon request, or pickup customers are asked to bring their own takeout bags

  4. Disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request

  5. Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles

  6. Discount offered to customers who bring their own cup, mug, container, bag or other reusable item

For more information on Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, go to