Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’Category

Dunkin’ Donuts Announces It Will Phase Out Foam Cups

Responding to customers’ concerns about plastic trash harming the environment and especially the oceans, Dunkin’ Donuts will begin phasing out polystyrene foam coffee cups this spring, substituting them with double-walled paper cups. What fast food chain is next – McDonald’s? Whataburger??
https://news.dunkindonuts.com/news/dunkin-donuts-to-eliminate-foam-cups-worldwide-in-2020

08

02 2018

Eleanor’s Coffee Bar + Market Becomes Second Ocean Friendly Restaurant in the Coastal Bend

Eleanor’s Coffee Bar + Market has officially signed up with the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant program to reduce plastic one restaurant and one customer at a time.

Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant (OFR) program highlights businesses that pledge to meet an ocean friendly standard, based on a comprehensive list of criteria. This criteria includes that the OFR agrees to comply with the following four required program criteria:

1. No expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is used.
2. Proper recycling practices are followed.
3. Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
4. No plastic bags are offered for takeout or to-go orders.

In addition to the four required each OFR is to select (at a minimum) of three additional criteria as listed below:

1. Plastic straws are provided only upon request.
2. No beverages are sold in plastic bottles.
3. A discount is offered for customer with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
4. Vegetarian/ Vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
5. All seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.
6. Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.
7. Energy efficiency efforts, such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.

29

01 2018

Texas Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation Launches its Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program with a Bang

The Texas Coastal Bend Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation (TXCBC) has launched its new Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, which will highlight local establishments that meet criteria to reduce the use of disposable plastics and promote ocean friendly food choices.

Our first Ocean Friendly Restaurant is the Pepsi Shoreline Grill at the Texas State Aquarium. This represents just one of a series of steps taken by the Aquarium in recent years to eliminate the use of single-use plastics on its premises. The TXCBC is thrilled to partner with the Aquarium and looks forward to signing other Coastal Bend establishments up.

In order to qualify as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant, businesses must meet these criteria:

1. No expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is used.
2. Proper recycling practices are followed.
3. Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
4. No plastic bags are offered for takeout or to-go orders.

In addition to the four required criteria, each OFR must select a minimum of three additional criteria listed below:

1. Plastic straws are provided only upon request.
2. No beverages are sold in plastic bottles.
3. A discount is offered for customer with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
4. Vegetarian/ Vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
5. All seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.
6. Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.
7. Energy efficiency efforts, such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.

To learn more about the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program and the Surfrider Foundation, please contact:

Christie Irps
Texas Coastal Bend Chapter
Ocean Friendly Restaurants Coordinator
Phone: 361-779-7402
christieirps@att.net
surfrider.org

21

01 2018

Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Laredo Bag Ban

January 11th was an interesting day at the Texas Supreme Court. Laredo’s lawyer, former Texas Supreme Court justice Dale Wainwright skillfully presented the arguments supporting Laredo’s ban. The case seems to hinge on interpretations of whether banning plastic bags equates to “solid waste management” or “source reduction”, which Mr. Wainwright correctly pointed out, aims to reduce the amount of bags handed by retailers out BEFORE they can become a waste. Also, when Texas Health and Safety Code Sec. 361.0961 was written in 1993 (It states “A local government or other political subdivision may not adopt an ordinance, rule, or regulation to prohibit or restrict, for solid waste management purposes, the sale or use of a container or package in a manner not authorized by state law;”) was anyone in Texas even talking about plastic bag bans, or was it really intended to deal with bottles and styrofoam cups? (the latter is true)

It is now up to the justices to decide whether Laredo should retain local control to deal with a major environmental and aesthetic problem as they see fit, or if the State will restrict their home rule and allow the problem to continue.

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/01/11/texas-supreme-court-hears-oral-arguments-plastic-bag-ban-case/

21

01 2018

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Laredo’s Appeal for Their Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

On January 11th, the Texas Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments in the case about Laredo’s single-use plastic bag ban, and representatives of our Surfrider Foundation chapter will be there to watch and listen.

A wide range of amicus briefs (friend of the court statements) have been filed in support of Laredo’s ability to continue banning plastic bags. The briefs have come from diverse interests such as cities, cotton ginners, recreational fishermen and guides, recycling and compost businesses, a Republican elected official, retailers, a cattleman and environmental organizations: http://www.search.txcourts.gov/Case.aspx?cn=16-0748&coa=cossup

You can watch a live broadcast of the oral arguments starting at 9:50 a.m. or view them later at: http://www.texasbarcle.com/CLE/TSC.asp

We are counting on the judges to understand the need for Texas cities to retain local control to solve problems like those caused by disposable plastic shopping bags.

09

01 2018

January Bag Heroes are New to Town

Our January Bag Heroes are Alexa Obregon and Todd Jarrell, who recently moved to Corpus Christi from Austin. Like many people, “We moved here because we wanted to be close to the beach. When friends ask us what it’s like, the beach is one of the first things we tell them about.”

After being accustomed to Austin’s bag ban, though, the number of bags in fields and trees, and along shorelines throughout Corpus Christi surprised and saddened them. “A city this close to such wonderful natural resources like the bays, beaches and Gulf of Mexico needs to work to protect them.”

Not ones to wait for government to lead the way, Todd and Alexa are being proactive, “Bringing reusable shopping bags to the store is one small thing that we can do to help.”

04

01 2018

Our December Bag Heroes!


As scientists have found increasing evidence that plastic trash is causing significant harm throughout the world’s oceans, institutions like the Texas State Aquarium have stepped up to educate guests (they had 560K in 2016) about their role in solving the problem. They have also worked to reduce the use of disposable plastics in their own operations. We applaud the Aquarium and are thrilled to introduce our Bag Heroes for December: Renee Hays and Kristine Sankey, who manage the gift shop there.

When guests check out at the cash register, they don’t get a single-use plastic bag. Instead, they have the option of carrying their purchase without a bag, buying a reusable shopping bag made from recycled plastic bottles, or taking a paper bag.

The program has been well received according to Renee. “Single-use plastic bags are so detrimental to our environment, we are thrilled to be able to offer this program to our guests to help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ultimately ends up in our oceans. We are hoping to help educate guests that their everyday choices make a difference. By purchasing a reusable bag today that they can then re-use again and again, they can help contribute to preserving and protecting our oceans and their inhabitants.“

11

12 2017

November Bag Heroes


Our November Bag Heroes are the James family. Jason teaches engineering and aquatic science at Moody High School while Suraida specializes in STEM Education and Science Communication consulting. She says, “We skip the plastic because we want to skip the damage and harm they cause to our precious environment and wildlife. We consider ourselves examples for our daughter Evelyn and those we teach. We want to ensure they will be able to experience the places and see the animals we have enjoyed. Evelyn herself is already a budding conservationist.”

Thanks to efforts by the James family and others who have transitioned to reusable shopping bags, future generations will hopefully be able to enjoy clean beaches and bays throughout the Coastal Bend.

01

11 2017

TAMU-CC Researchers to Present on Plastics in the Local Marine Environment

12

10 2017

Our October Bag Hero

Our Bag Hero for October is Jane Green, seen here with her assistance dog, Zelda. When they head to the store together, she likes the convenience that reusable shopping bags provide. “Not only are reusable bags better for the environment, they’re easier for me to handle and carry.”

How does she remember to take her bags when she goes shopping? ”I just hang them by the front door after unpacking them, then take them out to the car when I think of it.” Pretty simple, right?

Heroes like Jane show that reusable bags can become a small habit that makes a big difference in the health of our bays and the Gulf.  Thanks Jane!

02

10 2017