Initiative Recognizes 'Green' Restaurants

By Mykleseth, Kathryn | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, October 16, 2016 | Go to article overview

Initiative Recognizes 'Green' Restaurants


Mykleseth, Kathryn, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Working to prevent more plastic from lining Hawaii's coastlines, Surfrider Foundation is certifying restaurants that don't use Styrofoam, recycle their waste and provide only reusable or compostable tableware as Ocean Friendly Restaurants.

The environmental nonprofit wants to contribute to the potential economic benefit of going green.

"We're trying to remind people that every time they spend money, they are voting with their dollars, and it is a value choice," said Stuart Coleman, manager of Surfrider's Hawaii Chapters.

ECO-CERTIFIED

For a list of Ocean Friendly Restaurants:

>> oceanfriendlyrestaurantshawaii.org

Surfrider teamed up with Maui Huliau Foundation, Kokua Hawaii Foundation and the Rise Above Plastics Coalition for the Ocean Friendly Restaurants campaign. The groups began certifying local eateries as Ocean Friendly in April.

"We are going to get to a point where we are not going to do business or events, and the organizations that support us are not going to do any business, with restaurants that aren't ocean-friendly," Coleman said.

The goal of the campaign is to eliminate the use of plastics and Styrofoam at food establishments because it is a top item found at the group's beach cleanups. Plastics made up 60 percent of the debris identified by an aerial survey of Oahu's coastlines conducted by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and North Pacific Marine Science Organization.

"Ocean Friendly Restaurants is about changing a lifestyle that is destructive to our planet and our own well-being," said Rafael Bergstrom, a Surfrider organizer.

Bergstrom said the group has picked up about 12,000 pounds of waste off Oahu's shores this year.

Surfrider decides whether to certify restaurants as Ocean Friendly based on several criteria, including:

>> Restaurants cannot use Styrofoam, and takeout food containers have to be recyclable or compostable.

>> Only reusable tableware is provided for on-site dining at restaurants.

>> All takeout beverage containers are recyclable or compostable.

>> Takeout bags are not made of plastic and are provided only upon request.

>> Restaurants should offer a discount to customers with reusable cups, mugs or bags.

>> Use of water conservation efforts such as low-flow faucets and toilets.

State Rep. Chris Lee (D, Kailua-Waimanalo) said the cost of replacing plastic and Styrofoam products at some businesses is a common concern among the food industry. …

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