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Legislative Updates: Hawaiʻi Polystyrene Foam Bans

February 23, 2017

Statewide Foam Ban
SB1109 to ban expanded polystyrene foam (EPS foam) (aka “Styrofoam”) from being used by food establishments passed through its first hearing with over 70 people who came to testify in person, and over 600 testimony submitted online in support. This is unprecedented support for a bill! In-person testimony came from middle school, high school, and college students as well as parents, teachers and community members. The bill was amended to take effect in 2020.

Unfortunately, Senator Rosalyn Baker has not scheduled the next hearing as she has concerns about the price burden on businesses. Without a hearing, the bill dies.

Please send an email by the end of this week to these two Senators – we want to flood their inboxes! [email protected] and  [email protected]

Keep it simple! A few sentences:

  1. Tell them who you are, where you're from

  2. Ask them to please schedule a hearing for SB1109

  3. Optional: Include a sentence or two on why YOU care. Ideas: I want to know the food I buy from local restaurants is safe and doesnʻt have carcinogenic polystyrene chemicals leaching into it. I want to keep our oceans and land clear of the litter and toxins that comes from these containers.

Check out the Honolulu Star Advertiser article featuring middle school and high school students that came out to testify.

State Agency Foam Ban
HB1545 to ban EPS foam from being used by state-run agencies and facilities, including all of Hawaiʻi’s public schools, also passed through its first hearing with dozens of testimony in support. The bill passed with no amendments, but with no scheduled hearing expected, the bill is expected to die.

Good news!
The Hawaiʻi Island County Council met to consider Bill #13 to Ban Foam on Hawaiʻi Island, and it passed the first committee. It needs 2 more votes before going to the mayor's office for his signature!