LIHU‘E — Some restaurants are taking a stand against plastic ocean pollution head-on by eliminating use.
The Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Chapter is starting up its Ocean Friendly Restaurant program again with four restaurants meeting the criteria.
“The Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Restaurant program started in California and Hawai‘i restaurants as a way to prevent plastic pollution of the ocean,” said Ruta Jordans, ocean-friendly restaurant coordinator for SFKC.
“Surfrider has extended all their memberships to October 2021. At that time they will need to be in compliance with the new OFR 2.0 criteria in order to renew their membership.”
So far, the restaurants that have rejoined the OFR 2.0 with the new criteria include Kaua‘i Island Brewing Company, Passion Bakery Cafe, Oasis on the Beach and Pineapple in Paradise. Prior to the pandemic, 26 restaurants qualified.
Both Kaua‘i Island Brewing Company and Pineapple in Paradise are platinum members, meaning the establishments meet all the mandatory and optional criteria.
Ocean Friendly Restaurants are plastic-free and committed to working toward the sustainability of Kaua‘i.
“We decided it was our kuleana to malama our ‘aina and become ocean-friendly,” Passion Bakery General Manager Farah Aquino said. “We at Passion Bakery believe in a holistic approach to keep our community pono. We are committed to a sustainable and responsible Kaua‘i. Our mission is to improve upon our community, and we take that responsibility seriously.”
The program was created as a solution to the plastic ocean pollution problem in the Pacific Ocean.
“Single-use plastic is particularly detrimental, as bags, bottles, straws, expanded polystyrene foam and food wrappers consistently top the list of items our volunteers collect at cleanups,” Jordans said.
“The solution is simple — we need to stop plastic at the source. The Surfrider Foundation’s OFR program does just that. We recognize restaurants that are committed to cutting out wasteful, single-use plastic, and offer a simple, straightforward framework to help them make sustainable choices for our ocean,” she said.
Jordans said the new OFR 2.0 program requirements have been increased to seven mandatory and three optional criteria to focus more on sustainability issues. In addition, the fee structure was changed to a choice of making a $150 tax-deductible donation or paying $0.
Stephanie Shinno, reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.