Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 1109

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 1109 entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Beginning January 1, 2018, prohibit a food vendor in the State from serving or packaging prepared food in polystyrene foam containers, unless the food vendor qualifies for an exception;


(2) Impose penalties for violations; and


(3) Appropriate funds for public education and enforcement.


Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Conservation Council for Hawaii; Democratic Party of Hawaii; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic party of Hawaii; Surfrider Foundation; Surfrider Foundation, Oahu Chapter; Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii; Oahu Fresh L.L.C.; Big Island Divers; 9Bar HNL; Kōkua Hawaii Foundation; Hawaii Wildlife Fund; Styrophobia; Sustainable Island Products; Wipeout Crew; and three hundred twenty-one individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii; Hawaii Restaurant Association; Retail Merchants of Hawaii; Hawaii Food Industry Association; KYD, Inc. dba: K Yamada Distributors; and three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health.


Your Committees find that many food service businesses in Hawaii use expanded polystyrene foam containers for food that is taken out by customers. Expanded polystyrene foam is made from thermoplastic petrochemical materials containing styrene and may leach styrene into food that comes into contact with the containers, posing potential health hazards for people eating food carried in these containers. Your Committees also find that polystyrene foam containers do not biodegrade and, because of their expanded size, take up significant space in landfills. Your Committees note the popular support for alternative, compostable food service containers, but also recognize that there is no viable, commercial composting facility in the State. Because of these challenges, your Committees find it necessary to examine alternatives for non-compostable food service containers that may be used in place of expanded polystyrene foam food service containers.


Your Committees have amended this measure by:


(1) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2020; and


(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1109, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1109, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,