Maui News

Restrictions on Plastic Disposable Foodware Outlined in Proposed Maui Ordinance Amendment

By Wendy Osher
July 8, 2021, 8:18 AM HST
* Updated July 8, 10:58 AM
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Proposed amendments to a county ordinance are identified for the use and sale of plastic food ware, including utensils in Maui County.

Maui implemented a ban on polystyrene foam food service containers on Dec. 31, 2018. The amendments relating to plastic disposable food ware are in addition to the Department of Environmental Management’s administrative rules already in place for food containers.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division is responsible for implementation and enforcement of Ordinance No. 5084 relating to disposable plastic foodware which was passed unanimously by Maui County Council in 2019.  While the administrative rules further clarify the dictates of the ordinance, the restrictions are already mandated and go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The County of Maui Department of Environmental Management has scheduled an online public hearing at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, 2021, to consider proposed amendments. The public hearing on the proposed administrative rules is meant for the office to receive comment on the proposed rules before they are finalized.

Under the proposed amendments: (Prohibition. Unless exempt under §17-402-5:)

  • Food providers shall not sell, use, provide, or offer the use of [polystyrene foam food service containers.plastic disposable foodware.
  • [Polystyrene foam food service containersPlastic disposable foodware shall not be sold, used, provided, or offered for use at any County facility, County-authorized concession, County-sponsored or County-permitted event, or County program.
  • Polystyrene foam food service containersPlastic disposable foodware shall not be sold, used, provided, or offered for sale [or soldin the County.
  • Nothing in these rules precludes food providers from using or making available non-plastic alternative utensils, such as those made from paper, sugar cane, or bamboo; except, however that non-plastic utensils must only be provided upon the request or affirmative response of a person being provided the prepared food or beverage or in a self-service area or dispenser.
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The full description of rule amendments are posted here.

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More information can be found at the Department’s Plastic Free Maui County website: https://www.mauicounty.gov/1974/Plastic-Free-Maui-County

A food provider may apply for an exemption for situations unique to the type of food where there are no reasonable alternatives.

To watch the hearing or provide video testimony, use meeting link: https://bluejeans.com/920528764. To join the meeting or provide oral testimony by phone, dial 408-915-6290 and enter meeting ID: 920528764.

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Any interested person may submit data, views, arguments or other testimony on the proposed rules, orally or in writing, at the public hearing. Also, written testimony may be submitted by email to [email protected] or mail to: Department of Environmental Management, EPS Division, 2145 Wells St., Suite 103, Wailuku, Hawaiʻi 96793. Written testimony must be received by the Department of Environmental Management before the Public Hearing closes on July 14, 2021.

At the conclusion of the public hearing, the department may take action on the proposed rule amendments or defer and announce a date when the department action will occur.

Any person requesting accommodations due to disabilities must call the Department of Environmental Management at 808-270-8230 at least six days before the date of the scheduled public hearing.

For more information, call:

  • 808-270-7631 on Maui
  • 800-272-0125 ext. 7880 on Molokaʻi or Lānaʻi
Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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