(BIVN) – As the date for the Hawaii County Council’s hearing for Bill 13, reducing the use of polystyrene foam on Hawai‘i Island, the “Hold the Foam Working Group” has issued a full media kit complete with a press release, a Call to Action document, and fact sheet, and a photo of a Kailua-Kona rubbish can overflowing with Styrofoam food containers.
Here is the press release the organization put together in support of the bill being introduced by Puna councilwoman Eileen O’Hara:
Local Organizations form a “Hold the Foam” Working Group for a Foam Free Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i Island: What started as a group of dedicated wahine from three separate organizations, has grown into a collective working group comprised of local organizations and individuals, coming together to create a movement. The goal of the ‘Hold the Foam’ working group is a Foam Free Hawai‘i, which is why the group supports Councilwoman Eileen O’hara’s proposed Bill 13 that would reduce the use of polystyrene foam (e.g., Styrofoam) in food service and food ware products on Hawai‘i Island after July 1st, 2019. Bill 13 is scheduled to be heard by full council on Thursday, September 7th at 9am in Hilo. ‘Hold the Foam’ is asking for community support to attend the council meeting and testify to make your voice heard.
‘Hold the Foam’ believes that polystyrene foam is both problematic to our environment and detrimental to our economy, as it threatens native wildlife and negatively impacts our island’s waste management goals. “We live on an island, and we need to be mindful and consider the short lifecycle of these ‘single-use products’ compared to their long life in the environment. Polystyrene foam may take decades or even centuries to degrade. Our landfills are filling up and we have more people eating out of more foam to-go containers, ultimately creating more waste. We really have to stop and think about the huge disconnect between our daily purchases, our waste, and our island ecosystems. There is no ‘away’ for us. Away is our ‘āina or it is our oceans, and neither are a proper disposal mechanism for our trash,” shares Megan Lamson, Vice President with Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund. According to data compiled by Terry Miura, volunteers collected and recorded 37,673 pieces of debris during the “Get the Drift and Bag It” coastal cleanup events hosted by multiple groups around Hawai‘i Island in Sept 2015. Of this figure, 5% (1,925 items!) were recorded as foam pieces, packaging, and food containers. ‘Hold the Foam’ working group stands united in their support for this proposed legislation, and all future endeavors towards a Foam Free Hawai‘i.
How can YOU can take a part in this movement? First, sign the petition at Change.org, urging the County Council to ban expanded polystyrene “EPS” foam food containers on island, which was created in October 2015, and as of today carries over 5,815 signatures of support. Choose to eat at foam-free food establishments, compliment restaurants who have opted for eco-friendly alternatives, bring your own to-go containers, and encourage your favorite plate lunch joint to just “hold the foam”. Need some help finding a foam-free restaurant near you? Check out the list: http://goo.gl/lJBAXD or contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.