Ocean Alley manager Claudio with wait staff holding over 150 straws collected from Hollywood Beach. 500 million straws are used every day in the US Which is equivalent to well over 46,400 school-uses full of straws used every year.

Local restaurant Ocean Alley, owned by Hollywood’s own Vice Mayor Debra Case and her husband Terry, is the first local eatery to step up the plate and make major changes to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean as part of the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program.

Researchers estimate that there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, and that number continues to rise daily. The Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program works with local businesses to combat plastic pollution at the source — helping restaurants reduce single-use plastics, conserve resources, and raise public awareness.

“Surfrider Foundation Broward couldn’t be more proud to launch our program with Ocean Alley. They are taking huge steps to support ocean conservation and our local ocean-minded lifestyle,” said Morgan Knowles, Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program Coordinator for Surfrider Foundation Broward.

“Our ocean and our coast are being inundated by plastic pollution,” said Cat Uden, chair of Surfrider Foundation Broward. “At every one of our local beach cleanups, we collect huge amounts of plastic straws, foam takeout containers, and plastic utensils. The Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program is a way for local restaurants to help reduce their plastic footprint and keep our beaches clean.”

The criteria to participate in the program are quite stringent and participating restaurants should be acknowledged for taking part.

Restaurants joining the OFR Program must abide by all of the following four rules:
1. Discontinue offering expanded polystyrene (aka Styrofoam.)
2. Follow proper recycling practices.
3. Only offer reusable tableware for onsite dining and only provide takeout utensils upon request.
4. Eradicate the use of plastic bags for takeout or to-go orders.

They must also choose to abide by at least three of the following criteria:
5. Provide plastic straws only upon request.
6. Eliminate the sale of beverages in plastic bottles.
7. Offer discounts to customers with reusable cups, mugs, bags, etc.
8. Offer vegetarian/vegan food options regularly (All seafood must be a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” as defined by Seafood Watch.)
9. Use water conservation efforts such as low-flow faucets and toilets.
10. Use energy efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances.

To learn more about the Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program, or to sign up your restaurant contact: Cat Uden at chair@broward.surfrider.org or Morgan Knowles at ofr@broward.surfrider.org..

About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network.  Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now has over 500,000 supporters, activists and members, with more than 80 volunteer-led chapters and 60 clubs in the U.S., and more than 400 victories protecting our coasts. The Broward County Chapter works to ensure that local beaches are healthy, safe, and accessible. Learn more at broward.surfrider.org 

For more information about Surfrider Foundation Broward, contact Holly Parker, Florida Regional Manager, at
949 226 5457 or hparker@surfrider.org.