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Ban Single-Use EPS (Styrofoam) Containers in Hawaii County


Hawaii Island is home to a countless number of endemic species, breathtaking waterfalls, active volcanoes, and miles of world-class coral reef, making it one of the most unique places on planet earth. It attracts over a million tourists annually, and more than 150,000 people call this place home.



It is worth protecting; it is worth keeping clean.



In 2009 the Department of Environmental Management implemented the Zero Waste plan for Hawaii County, with the mission of reducing human's environmental impact on this precious island ecosystem. To learn more about the Zero Waste Plan, visit HawaiiZeroWaste.org. 



In line with the Zero Waste Plan, Hawaii County gained national attention in January of 2015 when it passed Bill 17, an ordinance banning the disbursement of single-use plastic bags at checkout counters island-wide. This ordinance was undoubtedly a step in the right direction on the path to a cleaner Hawaii.

It is imperative that we continue the progression on this path, and we cannot do so without considering the effects of expanded polystyrene products on our forests, mountains, and beaches. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is most commonly found in takeout cups, clamshell containers, and plates and is more commonly referred to as “Styrofoam.”

EPS breaks up rather easily, increasing the probability for accidental ingestion by birds and marine life when it is improperly disposed of. Consider that even when EPS products are properly disposed of they do not biodegrade and they are currently not accepted as recyclable items.

They are purely and simply waste.

In his signing of Bill 17, the Hawaii County Plastic Bag Ordinance, Mayor Kenoi stated that “We are responsible for the decisions we make today for a better tomorrow... we all must be mindful of the responsibilities we have as trustees of the land to do everything we can to protect our island home.”

We cannot effectively say that we are making responsible decisions for a better tomorrow while simultaneously piling non-composting styrofoam items into our landfills. We cannot honestly claim to be on the path to “Zero Waste” without utilizing the eco-friendly alternatives on the market. We ask that the County Council act in accordance with the Zero Waste Plan; we support an ordinance for a county-wide ban on single-use expanded polystyrene products.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Hawaii County Council
    Hawaii County Council


    Sarah Rafferty started this petition with a single signature, and now has 5,108 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.