S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that expanded polystyrene foam represents one of the most common and toxic forms of litter pollution in Hawaii.  Expanded polystyrene foam is designed to be lightweight, which allows it to easily escape waste collection systems and accumulate on land and in water.  The accumulation of expanded polystyrene foam on land and in water poisons the local food supply as the pollution leaches styrene, a known carcinogen, and other toxins into the land and water.  This poisonous chain impacts all species, including birds, whales, turtles, and seals, and the fish that form the foundation of the local fishing industry.  Expanded polystyrene foam poisons and mars Hawaii's iconic landscapes, which serves as the basis for its number one industry, tourism.  The Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine debris action plan have included the elimination of expanded polystyrene foam pollution as top priorities for 2017.

     The legislature further finds that the cost to the State and counties to clean expanded polystyrene foam and other plastics from storm drains, waterways, marine ecosystems, and other aggregation points is well-documented and increasingly burdensome.  A study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council found that California taxpayers shoulder $428,000,000 per year in costs to prevent litter, including plastics like expanded polystyrene foam, from becoming pollution which harms the environment, tourism, and other economic activity.  The cost of litter prevention in San Diego, California, which is similar in population to Hawaii, is over $14,000,000 per year.  In 2016, the Hawaii department of transportation released a trash reduction plan that estimated that prohibiting the distribution of expanded polystyrene foam foodware could result in a ten per cent reduction of the department of transportation highways division's total cleanup costs of litter in the State.  A wide prohibition against the use of expanded polystyrene foam food containers will likely result in even more cost savings. 

     The purpose of this Act is to protect the State's environment and economy by prohibiting the use of polystyrene foam containers by food vendors.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

     "Department" means the department of health.

     "Expanded polystyrene foam" means blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded foams that are thermoplastic petrochemical materials using a styrene monomer.

     "Food vendor" means any person, public or private, located within the State, who offers for sale or sells food or beverage products.

     "Polystyrene foam container" means a container that is intended for single use and is made of expanded polystyrene foam.

     "Prepared food" means food or beverages that are prepared to be consumed on or off the premises of the establishment at which it was prepared.

     "Undue hardship" includes but is not limited to situations in which:

     (1)  There are no acceptable alternatives to packaging with polystyrene foam containers for reasons that are unique to the applicant; or

     (2)  Compliance with the prohibition would deprive a person of a legally protected right.

     §   -2  Rules.  The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to implement this chapter, including rules relating to enforcement and exemptions.

     §   -3  Prohibition on the use of polystyrene foam containers; county recycling programs.  Beginning on January 1, 2018, no food vendor in the State may serve or package prepared food in polystyrene foam containers unless:

     (1)  The county in which the food vendor serves or packages prepared food has established a polystyrene foam container recycling program and the department verifies that the polystyrene foam container recycling program is capable of recycling at least sixty per cent of the polystyrene foam containers used annually in the county; or

     (2)  The food vendor has been granted an exemption pursuant to section    -4.

     §   -4  Exemption.  The department may grant a one-year exemption from the requirements of this chapter upon application and a showing by the applicant that compliance would cause undue hardship and there are no acceptable alternatives to the use of expanded polystyrene foam.

     §   -5  Enforcement; penalties.  If the department determines that a food vendor has violated this chapter, or any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter, the department shall:

     (1)  For a food vendor's first violation, provide the food vendor a written notice of violation;

     (2)  For a food vendor's second violation, fine the food vendor $200; and

     (3)  For a food vendor's third and each subsequent violation, fine the food vendor $500."

     SECTION 3.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for public education and to enforce this Act.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.




Report Title:

Polystyrene Food Containers; Food Vendors; DOH



Prohibits the use of polystyrene foam containers by food vendors beginning 1/1/18, unless: (1) the county in which the food vendor works has established a polystyrene foam container recycling program; or (2) DOH allows an exemption.  Takes effect 7/1/2020.  (SD1)




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