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08 • 10 • 2021

Ocean Friendly Restaurant Spotlight: Pineapple in Paradise

By Surfrider Foundation

An Ocean Friendly Restaurant since January 2020, Pineapple in Paradise is now a platinum member in the OFR 2.0 program.

Since opening in 2019, Pineapple in Paradise (PIP) has been a popular food truck destination for delicious treats. What also makes them awesome is their commitment to sustainability and operating plastic-free. Surfrider Kauai recently interviewed co-founder AnaStasia Lytle about PIP’s journey.

Q: You’ve been committed to zero waste/no single-use plastics since PIP’s inception. Where did that awareness come from? 

It was really a combination of factors. I’ve always loved the ocean and much of my free time has been spent scuba diving and kayaking. Dealing with the rubbish that ends up on our beaches and in our ocean made us want to be a part of the solution – not the problem. So our concept is that we provide food where you either eat the container, a cone – or customers can purchase reusable cups and spoons. 

Q: On a daily basis, how do you achieve zero waste and no plastics?

The no single-use plastics is simple for us – we just refuse to do it! There are always alternatives. For wrappers, we use unbleached paper with a wax coating instead of the usual plastic lining. These degrade quickly but they do wind up in landfills so we’re not quite zero waste yet. But we continue to strive toward it.

Q: How do customers respond to your no-plastics policies?

Most love what we do. Many of our items are meant to be eaten by hand and when cups and utensils are required, we try to make our purchased reusables durable and attractive so that people want to use them! Of course, there are always some who will be angry. We try to explain that plastic spoons and cups wind up in one of two places – landfills or the ocean – and that neither is acceptable. Hopefully we’ve had a teachable moment that will lead to better decisions in the future. And of course, there are some who insist they need a plastic spoon but quickly figure out how to eat the item by hand rather than pay for a reusable spoon! 

Q: What was the impact of COVID-19 on PIP?

We know that many food establishments on Kauai struggled and we were very fortunate to be able to stay open. For months during takeout-only dining, food trucks were a good option. Additionally, many of our customers were and are from the local community, and we’re very grateful for their continued support. 

Congratulations to PIP for their platinum certification on OFR 2.0. If you’re visiting Kauai, stop by their truck and tell them you appreciate their plastic-free efforts! Find them on Instagram @PIPKauai and Facebook @Pineapple in Paradise and their schedule at pipkauai.com/location.