Hawaii County preps for ban on polystyrene food containers

February 21, 2019 GMT

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii Island’s ban on polystyrene — or Styrofoam — food containers goes into effect in less than five months.

The Hawaii County Council on Tuesday got an update on an educational program from Recycling Coordinator George Hayducsko, who outlined a schedule to implement administrative rules for the ban, West Hawaii Today reported .

The schedule starts with brochures, posters and public hearings and ends with public service announcements before becoming law July 1.


The county will use a small business advisory committee to help draft the rules and a small business regulatory review board to review them. Public hearings are contemplated in April.

The department is encouraging restaurateurs, food vendors and those dispensing food in single-use containers to adopt certified compostable products. Compostable disposable food service ware includes bio-plastics and fiber-based products.

The county rule will require the use of compostables certified by the Biodegradable Product Institute, which carry a BPI logo. The products are compostable in an industrial composting facility, such as one Hawaii County plans to open by July 1, 2020.

The new law does not cover straws, lids or cutlery. But the county is encouraging businesses to switch to environmentally preferred alternatives, which also are readily available.

Fines range from $10-$600 per violation, depending on whether the violation is part of a special event and the size of the special event. A written warning will be issued first. Each sale or transfer of food in a polystyrene container counts as a single violation.


Information from: West Hawaii Today,