H.R. NO.













requesting state departments and agencies to voluntarily utilize biodegradable or recyclable non-polystyrene foam food service-ware.



     WHEREAS, expanded polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) is a petroleum by-product, nonrenewable resource composed of the chemical styrene, a neurotoxin and a possible human carcinogen; and


     WHEREAS, due to the inherent nonbiodegradable, nonrecyclable nature and chemical composition of expanded polystyrene foam, the disposal of food service-ware and packing materials made from this product pose a significant threat not only to Hawaii's ecosystems and environment but also to the general health and welfare of the citizens of this State; and


     WHEREAS, improper or inadvertent disposal (littering) of food service-ware and packing materials made from expanded polystyrene foam is not only an aesthetic concern but also raises significant health and welfare concerns for the State's aquatic and other wildlife; and


     WHEREAS, when expanded polystyrene foam breaks down in the State's landfills, dangerous chemicals leach into the seepage of the landfills, adversely impacting the State's environment and ecosystems.  Additionally, as this seepage is pumped out of the landfill and inadequately processed or treated before being discharged into the ocean, it also threatens marine ecosystems around the islands; and


     WHEREAS, when expanded polystyrene foam is disposed of by incineration, it produces a dense, black, irritating smoke containing acidic gases and over ninety different chemical compounds, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and the known neurotoxin and possible carcinogen, styrene; and


     WHEREAS, when, contrary to the designed one-time use, food or beverages are reheated in expanded polystyrene foam containers, leaching of the chemical neurotoxin styrene occurs; and


     WHEREAS, expanded polystyrene foam products take hundreds of years to breakdown, food service-ware and packing materials made from this product pose a significant long‑term detrimental impact upon Hawaii's environment and ecosystems; and


     WHEREAS, disposable cups, plates, packing supplies, and numerous other items made from expanded polystyrene foam pose a significant threat to the numerous, and oftentimes fragile, ecosystems that exist in Hawaii and to the health and welfare of the general public and environment; and


     WHEREAS, it is currently economically feasible to replace disposable food service-ware products made from expanded polystyrene foam with environmentally friendly biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable alternative products; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, that all state departments and agencies are requested to voluntarily promote the procurement and use of environmentally friendly, biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable food service-ware products, as an alternative to expanded polystyrene foam.  This includes but is not limited to:


     (1)  Explicitly limiting contracting requirements in the bid process for disposable food service-ware to non‑polystyrene foam, biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable expanded polystyrene foam alternative products; and


     (2)  Creating incentives for outside vendors to utilize environmentally friendly, biodegradable or recyclable food service-ware products in any endeavor connected with department or agency business; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Comptroller; the Energy Resources Coordinator; the Administrator of the State Procurement Office; all chief procurement officers as defined in section 103D-203, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and the Governor.









Report Title: 

Biodegradable and Recyclable Materials; Dept. and Agency Utilization Of