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Earth Day: Environmental Group Highlights San Diego Restaurants Eliminating Plastic Waste

Earth Day: Environmental Group Highlights San Diego Restaurants Eliminating Plastic Waste

The Surfrider Foundation is tapping San Diego restaurants to help with its mission to keep oceans and beaches clean, and reduce plastic waste.

Earth Day: Environmental Group Highlights San Diego Restaurants Eliminating Plastic Waste

GUESTS:

Cynthia Krueger, co-chair, Surfrider Foundation's Rise Above Plastics program

Sharon Berry, Green Team captain, Snooze

Transcript

San Diego restaurants are the target of a new Surfrider Foundation campaign to help reduce pollution at oceans and beaches.

Most of the trash on local beaches is plastic, according to Surfrider. Last year, volunteers picked up 208,000 pieces of debris, with bags, bottles, sand pails and other plastic items making up 81 percent of the haul.

Surfrider is partnering with San Diego restaurants and asking them to stop using Styrofoam, to only use reusable tableware in their dining areas and to recycle properly. Participating eateries must meet these standards and more to be certified as an “Ocean-Friendly Restaurant.”

Cynthia Krueger, co-chair of Surfrider's Rise Above Plastics campaign, said it made sense for the organization to work with restaurants because much of the litter found on beaches originates from them.

“We want to make sure they are following the current law and following proper recycling practices,” Krueger told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday.

Sharon Berry, captain of the Green Team at Snooze in Hillcrest, one of four restaurants to be certified as ocean-friendly, said it wasn’t difficult to follow the organization’s criteria.

“We welcome them with open arms,” Berry said. “It’s part of our criteria to have some of these sustainable ideals in how we operate.”

What Makes A Restaurant Ocean Friendly?

Restaurants participating in the Surfrider Foundation Campaign must follow these three criteria:

  1. No styrofoam use; replacements are recycled, recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable
  2. Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining
  3. Proper recycling practices are followed throughout the restaurant

And choose a minimum of three of these criteria as well:

  1. Plastic straws are provided only upon request
  2. Takeout food and beverage containers are recycled, recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable
  3. Takeout bags are not made of plastic
  4. Takeout bags are provided only upon request, or pickup customers are asked to bring their own takeout bags
  5. Disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request
  6. No beverages sold in plastic bottles.

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