OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — When visiting Ocean City this summer, visitors might notice some small changes at many restaurants on the boardwalk.
Those small changes might have a big impact on the environment, however. Restaurants like Ocean 13 at 13th Street have made big commitments to reducing their plastic use and protecting Maryland's waterways.
"We're trying to do away with single-use plastics. We want to obviously help the environment. You know, we're called Ocean 13. Without an ocean there could be no Ocean 13," said Jeremy Brink, Ocean 13's owner.
Sandi Smith from Maryland Coastal Bays' said about 40 restaurants down the boardwalk are switching from plastics to compostables as part of the Protect Our Sand and Sea campaign.
"In the state of Maryland, we are the only town with oceanfront real estate," Smith said.
Ocean 13 uses compostable to-go containers.
"You can put it in the microwave, you can put it in the oven," Brink said.
Along with straws that biodegrade in 60 days and recycled plastic cups.
"It definitely helps with lowering the impact of plastics," Brink said.
In exchange for their efforts, restaurants that take this step get some free advertising and can display the "Protect Our Sand And Sea" logo proudly in their restaurants.
"So we're hoping that as a small community, we can set the precedent. We can lead the way for source reduction.
Just one way the city by the sea is protecting its treasured waters. Another is butt huts popping up around Ocean City.
There are about 50 right now with more to come, recycling cigarette butts into benches.
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