One Restaurant at a Time

The Ocean Friendly Restaurant (OFR) campaign works with San Diego County restaurants to institute self-regulated ocean friendly policies that reduce disposable plastic waste. By reducing disposable waste, restaurants have the power to greatly reduce their impact on San Diego’s ocean and beaches. Instead of punishing restaurants that have wasteful practices, San Diego Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics committee will instead support restaurants that take it upon themselves to be ocean friendly. By engaging the restaurant community in a conversation about ocean friendly practices, we hope to significantly reduce disposable waste in our ocean and on our beaches.


Restaurants participating in the OFR Campaign MUST follow these four criteria:

  1. No styrofoam use
  2. Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining
  3. Proper recycling practices are followed throughout the restaurant
  4. Plastic bags are not used to carry out food

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, or compostable
  3. Takeout bags are provided only upon request, or pickup customers are asked to bring their own takeout bags
  4. Disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request
  5. No beverages sold in plastic bottles.
  6. Discount offered to customers who bring in their own cup, mug, container, bag or other reusable item.


  • Show your support by frequenting our certified Ocean Friendly Restaurants and let them know you found them on the OFR webpage
  • Say “no straw” whenever you order a drink (even take-out and drive-thru), and take the No Straw Pledge
  • Ask for water and other drinks in a reusable glass instead of plastic
  • Bring your own reusable cup for takeout coffee, and remember to  ask for a reusable mug when ordering “for here”
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to avoid purchasing plastic bottles of water
  • If you think you may have leftovers, bring your own reusable container instead of getting a disposable container from the restaurant
  • Always bring your own bag when picking up takeout food


Anyone can become part of the OFR team and certify restaurants to be Ocean Friendly.  Join us at a committee meeting to find out exactly how the process works.

Learn More


Benefits of being an Ocean Friendly Restaurant

We offer restaurants several incentives for their Ocean Friendly practices.

  • Promotion to more than 30,000 San Diego County consumers through:
    • social media
    • our website, and future mobile app
    • emails
    • community events and beach cleanups
  • Optional collateral including: OFR window sticker, table-toppers, diner brochures, bill stuffers, poster
  • Collaborative promotions such as launch parties or coupon days promoted to our members
  • Train wait staff about campaign
  • Vendor pamphlet with alternative material sources and pricing, including negotiated discounts


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