Maui News

Maui plastic disposal foodware ban takes effect on New Year’s Day

December 22, 2021, 12:01 PM HST
* Updated December 23, 7:33 PM
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A new ban on plastic disposable foodware takes effect in Maui County on New Yearʻs Day 2022.

The County of Maui Plastic Disposable Foodware Ordinance No. 5084 will affect businesses that package food or beverages to order (take-out, deli counter, and drinks), as well as businesses that sell these items for use. Instead, businesses will provide non-plastic products that are deemed safer for the environment. 

Banned items include plastic disposable food service containers and utensils such forks, spoons and knives, and plates, trays, bowls, cups, hinged (plate lunch) containers and straws.

While a ban on polystyrene foam food service containers has been in effect on Maui for three years, the ordinance was amended to also include foodware such as plastic utensils and straws.

“The end of single-use plastic foodware doesn’t mean the end of convenience,” said Mayor Michael Victorino in a press release update. “Alternatives include compostable utensils made from paper, plant starch, bamboo and sugar cane, among others. For Christmas, please consider giving a friend who likes take-out food a zero-waste, eco-friendly utensil kit. We can all aspire to achieve ‘zero-waste’ in Maui County by making small changes that make a big difference in helping our environment. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle and compost waste materials.”

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Beginning Jan. 1, residents can expect the following:

  • When shopping at local retail stores, utensils, cups, plates, and other types of disposable foodware will be non-plastic. 
  • Takeout food will be served in non-plastic containers. 
  • Utensils and straws must be non-plastic, and will be provided by request only. 
  • Disposable foam coolers will be banned for sale or use. 
  • Plastic containers used for “prepackaged food” will be allowed, but it is discouraged. 
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The Maui County Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division is helping businesses affected by the ordinance to prepare. A number of businesses, such as those experiencing COVID-19 related shipping and supply delays, are being granted temporary exemptions; so the public may see some plastic foodware still being used in the coming months.

County-approved exemption notices will be posted at each business location that has been granted an exemption.

More information on Plastic Disposable Foodware Ordinance No. 5084 is available online.

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