KEALAKEHE, Hawaii – The Hawaii County Council Committee on Environmental Management gave a positive recommendation to a bill that would reduce the use of styrofoam food containers on Hawaii Island.
Five members of the council voted in support of Bill 13: Valerie Poindexter, Eileen O’Hara, Jennifer Ruggles, Maile David, and Karen Eoff. The measure will now be taken up by the full council in March.
Several testifiers spoke in favor of the bill, which if passed and signed into law would prohibits food vendors “from dispensing prepared food in disposable polystyrene food service ware effective July 1, 2018.” The bill exempts “ice chest and coolers, County facility users and food vendors with approval by the Environmental Management Director, and County facility users and food vendors procuring supplies during an event declared as an emergency by the Mayor.”
The previous council voted down a similar styrofoam prohibition last year. After the 2016 elections, a new council took over. It now appears the local legislators have the votes to pass the bill.