H.C.R. NO.















Requesting the department of HEALTH TO investigate hazards posed by polystyrene food containers and to establish standards for biodegradable plastic food containers and grocery bags.



     WHEREAS, many types of everyday household products and materials are manufactured from various types of plastics; and


WHEREAS, styrene is a clear colorless liquid that is derived from petroleum and natural gas by-products, but which also occurs naturally; and


     WHEREAS, styrene is used in the manufacture of many types of plastic materials, including food containers and packaging, computer parts, and automobile components; and


     WHEREAS, styrene can enter packaged foods by migration from polystyrene food containers and packaging materials, and test results are unclear as to whether the amount of styrene leaching increases when foods are heated in polystyrene containers; and


WHEREAS, human data from tests are insufficient to conclude that styrene, when ingested, is toxic to normal human growth and development; and


WHEREAS, grocery bags manufactured from low density polyethylene do not biodegrade naturally in landfills and when improperly disposed may enter the environment as litter and pose a hazard to marine wildlife; and


     WHEREAS, improperly disposed polystyrene that enters the environment as litter can create health hazards for marine wildlife, including entanglement and ingestion; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Health is requested to adopt rules requiring polystyrene food containers sold in the State to display a label that warns of the potential dangers of heating food in the container; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is requested to conduct a study, based on available research and data, that assesses the safety of polystyrene food containers; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is requested to form a task force to establish minimum statewide standards for biodegradability for plastic grocery bags and food containers; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2010; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health.









Report Title: 

Polystyrene; Food Containers; Grocery Bags; Safety