Plastic pollution in oceans is a known worldwide epidemic, however, the Santa Barbara community is determined to create a positive impact. Policymakers, restauranteurs, and members of the Santa Barbara community alike have come together to successfully implement the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. With the launch of the program on August 23, community members celebrated a collaborative start to help curb plastic pollution.
The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program works towards reducing the amount of plastic entering the waste stream by recognizing restaurants who pledge to take part. Restaurants are expected to meet an ocean-friendly standard by reducing the amount of plastic waste they produce. Already seven restaurants—including Locavore Kitchen, The Shop Cafe, Rincon Brewery, Goodland Kitchen, Mesa Burger, Mony’s and Shoreline Beach Cafe—have began to participate.
“Participating in this program means that myself, and everyone else that comes to enjoy a day at the beach knows we at Shoreline Beach Cafe care and are doing a small, but important part to help heal and save the ocean and all that it has to offer,” says Steve Marsh, owner of Shoreline Beach Cafe.
The partnership between the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Marine Science Institute at UCSB has made the creation of this program possible. With the launch of the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program, recent passed legislation to eliminate restaurant and retail use of expanded polystyrene products is now furthered supported and emphasized by the city. Santa Barbara continues to progress towards lessening its carbon footprint, and has its citizens to thank for it.