Surfrider Foundation Launches ‘Choose to Reuse’ Educational Campaign to Reduce Single-Use Waste
The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program is launching the “Choose to Reuse” educational campaign to educate business owners and customers to adopt easy solutions to avoid using unnecessary disposable items.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation reports that “there has been an increase in takeout demand, which has led to the use of more disposable foodware items used by restaurants (including bags, straws, utensils, cups, menus and condiments).”
As part of the educational campaign, the volunteer-run Ocean Friendly Restaurants program is encouraging businesses to choose reusable tableware for dine-in guests, provide utensils/condiments only upon request, offer incentives if a customer brings their own reusable mug, and offer online ordering or ordering by app to avoid disposable menus.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, restaurants on Maui will be required by law to provide single-use foodware only upon request. The “Choose to Reuse” campaign aims to aid in the transition in adopting Bill 52.
“Most to-go orders end up at home where customers use their own utensils, condiments and napkins,” said Erica Chavez, Surfrider Maui’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Coordinator. “By providing utensils on request only, this campaign saves restaurants money and helps customers cut down on single-use items.”
Maui County’s Bill 52 follows the success of Bill 40 on Oʻahu that was passed in December 2019. Most recently, Kauaʻi County banned polystyrene (“styrofoam”) food containers.
Implementing campaigns such as “Choose to Reuse” gives restaurants a head start on initiating the new practices while saving money and resources. Businesses interested in participating in the campaign will receive signage to post in their storefronts that offers customers utensils on request only, as well as digital infographics to help share the new initiative with customers.
Maui restaurants that have already adopted the “Choose to Reuse” program include Cafe Mambo, Da Nani Pirates, Kitoko, Choice Health Bar, Tsunami Burger, Wing Kings, Sol Brothers Southern BBQ, Abikis Caribbean Flavas, Cafe des Amis and Flatbread.
For more information about the campaign and helpful tips for restaurants to implement these changes, visit https://maui.surfrider.org/ocean-friendly-restaurants.
To participate in the “Choose to Reuse” campaign, please contact Erica Chavez, Surfrider Maui’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Coordinator, at [email protected]