Phase out Costly Single-Use Plastics on Oahu

Phase out Costly Single-Use Plastics on Oahu

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Tenaiya Brookfield started this petition to Honolulu City Council

In collaboration with Surfrider and Ocean Friendly Restaurants, Sustainable Coastlines, Cocoa Plastic Free Hawai'i, Zero Waste O'ahu, Hawai'i Sierra Club, Representative Chris Lee, Oahu residents and businesses, the plastic free restaurants of Oahu strongly support Bill 40 

As some of Hawaii's favorite local eateries and small businesses, we drive to lower costs for our customers. That's why we are switching away from single-use plastic, which drives up costs for local consumers who are forced to pay higher taxes to clean up the plastics that inevitably end up littering Hawaii's streams and beaches. Equally important, we care about doing our part to protect Hawaii's fragile environment and prevent the severe damage that single-use plastics cause to our local ecosystems and the countless species that share our island home.

However, we aren't the only ones making the switch to more responsible cutlery, straws, plates, cups, and plate lunch boxes. Hundreds of businesses, restaurants, bars and food trucks around the state have already eliminated single-use plastic and polystyrene products, replacing them with better sustainable alternatives.

While the plastics industry likes to say switching to more sustainable alternatives will drive up costs and force businesses to close, our real world experience shows that's simply not true. Compostable and environmentally friendly plates and cups are now frequently comparable in cost to plastic counterparts and prices will continue to decrease with economies of scale.

No business has had to close because they were switched from single-use plastic to more sustainable products. In fact, business is booming for many of us. Many businesses that have made the switch notice they attract more customers who are eager to shop and dine responsibly and support local businesses that care about our island. Other times customers don't even notice the difference until we point out how we have made the switch and are doing our part.

As small businesses in Hawaii committed to being good neighbors here in the islands, we support the Honolulu City Council's efforts to pass Bill 40, which phases out single-use plastics and protects local consumers from being forced to pay additional costs to cleanup the plastic debris clogging our storm drains and contaminating our streams, beaches, and native ecosystems. 

It's not right that businesses continue to pass the cost to clean up single-use plastics on local customers and taxpayers. We are all one ohana and live in these islands together, and we must all responsibly do our part for the future of our keiki. Plus, making the switch is just good for business in the long term.

If you would like to openly support this letter to the Star Advertiser, please sign this petition with your name and business name so we know which restaurant you represent

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