(BIVN) – As of today, styrofoam food containers are prohibited at Hawaiʻi Island restaurants and food service establishments.
In June, the County of Hawaʻi shared this message to island residents and businesses:
The County of Hawaiʻi is pleased to announce the implementation of Ordinance 17-63, which passed in September 2017. Effective July 1, 2019, food service vendors are prohibited from providing food to a customer in disposable (single-use) food service ware that is made from polystyrene foam, sometimes referred to as “Styrofoam.” Although straws, lids, and cutlery are exempted, the County encourages the use of environmentally preferable alternatives.
According to the County’s Hawaii Zero Waste website, the following prohibitions and requirements will be implemented under the ordinance:
- All food vendors are prohibited from providing food to a customer in disposable food service ware that is made from polystyrene foam.
- All food vendors using any disposable food service ware shall use a suitable recyclable or compostable product.
- All County facility users shall use a suitable recyclable or compostable product for disposable food service ware.
The County’s says the intent of the new law is to “improve environmental quality on the island and in the neighboring marine environment.”
In early June, representatives of various local food service establishments and restaurant associations testified in support of a Hawaiʻi County Council bill to amend the polystyrene reduction ordinance.
Bill 74, introduced by Councilmember Tim Richards, proposed amendments to five definitions and exemptions provisions to address what types of containers and packaging will be prohibited as of July 1, 2019, when the polystyrene reduction goes into effect. Richards also amended the bill to clarify the definition of the word “recyclables” to mean “material that has reached the end of its current use and maybe processed into material utilized in the production of new products,” with the word “maybe” (in bold) to replace the word “is”.