Five East End restaurants have earned the designation of an Ocean-Friendly Restaurant from the Surfrider Foundation, joining a group of more than 600 restaurants nationwide that commit to low-plastic endeavors. Rosie’s Amagansett, Organic Krush Amagansett, La Fin in Montauk, the Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton, and First and South in Greenport have all obtained the status.
The foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants initiative was launched in 2013 in Huntington Beach, Calif., and became a nationally recognized program in 2018. There are now 672 restaurants in the program nationwide. Its main goal is to promote the elimination of single-use plastics in the restaurant industry. The Surfrider Foundation has cited research that shows by 2025, the environment will be saturated by 11 billion metric tons of plastic waste.
All Ocean Friendly eateries must follow several rules to obtain the status: using reusable utensils and dishes for onsite dining, providing paper straws only when asked, not using Styrofoam or plastic bags for to-go orders, providing single-use accessories like straws and condiments for takeout only when asked, avoiding selling beverages in plastic bottles, and following proper recycling practices.
Additional practices include but are not limited to not selling concessions and pre-packaged food in plastic packaging, which is done at La Fin; regularly offering vegetarian and vegan options, which all five of the restaurants do, and offering a discount to customers with reusable items, which is done at the Maidstone Hotel and Organic Krush.
Surfrider is looking for more restaurants to participate in its Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. Interested restaurants can find more information at easternli.surfrider.org.