~ Plastic Pollution Activities

CSMC partners with many other non-profit organizations to educate our community and influence legislation to reducing plastic pollutions in our oceans. Progress on this issue includes Carmel City’s passing of an ordinance to require restaurants to serve compostable straws and service ware.  Other cities in Monterey County are working on similar ordinances.   To help restaurants make the transition to paper or reusable straws, CSMC is working with our partners and has created a straws section on this site to learn more and take actions that will help and support restaurants make these changes.

To educate the public on single-use plastics impact on the environment, CSMC has created an interactive exhibit that debuted at Whalefest and has been hosted at Earth Day events and schools in Big Sur and Seaside.  The display educates visitors on the devastating impact plastics have on marine life and our environment, dispels misconceptions of plastics’ recyclability, and offers viable solutions and actions that individuals and groups can take to reduce plastics waste altogether in everyday life.

CSMC volunteers have created an owner’s manual for those who would like to be trained and host the exhibit at their event or school.  The recommended school format is to have the display hosted by a class who will receive training and then share it with other classes for a week.

The vertical and horizontal display spans two 6’ tables put in an L-shape with the interactive activity on one side and on the other, a solutions display that includes plastic alternative samples, tips to reduce single-use plastics, give-aways of a skip-a-straw/save-a-turtle buttons, Life Without Plastic catalogs, and Last-Plastic Straw calling cards to leae behind at restaurants.  It also includes some plastic pollutions related dvds for viewing and the beginnings of a library of collective actions groups can take to protect our oceans.  If you would like to host the display at your event or school, or contribute a recommended collective action to add to the display, please contact us at csmc@sustainablemontereycounty.org or 831-200-3655.


Here are some actions individuals can take to reduce single-use plastic straws.

                                                 Advocate to your local restaurant

 Wear this button when dining out and give to your servers to wear as a reminder of

a simple thing we all can do to curb plastic pollution.  If you would like buttons, please click here to tell us how many buttons you would like and to what address to have them delivered.The Last Plastic Straw site has more best practices and resources for restaurants.


                                            Carry your own reusable straw 

Until reusable straws become more widely available we recommend you check out sites like the Last Plastic Straw,  www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/, or etsy’s AandEStraws from a Salinas local woman.  Local stores where you can buy reusable straws include Monterey Bay Aquarium and Lilify in Monterey, Bookworks and Pavels in Pacific Grove, EcoCarmel in Carmel and Haute Enchilada in Moss Landing.


Reward and Thank Ocean Friendly Restaurants   

CSMC expresses our gratitude to the environmentally friendly restaurants in the Monterey Area.  Though this list is not exhaustive, we thank the following restaurants for their sustainable practices that often go beyond this plastic straw initiative:  In Pacific Grove:  Passionfish (no straws served at all), Jennini’s (reusable metal straws), Pavels, La Mia Cucina, Fandangos, The Beach House, Happy Girl Kitchen, Julias, Taste Cafe, Holly’s, Mandos, Bookworks Cafe.   In Monterey:  The Aquarium’s Cafe and Cindy’s Waterfront, Montrio Bistro, Hula’s, Clement’s C Restaurant and Bar,  Alvarado Brewing, Abalonettis, Schooners, Sand Bar & Grill, Melville’s Tavern.  In Carmel: Basil Seasoning

We will work with our cities’ hospitality organizations to publish a list of Ocean Friendly restaurants for our eco-conscious residents and visitors. If you see other restaurants who have switched, please send an email with their name for us to include in this list.