Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 2498

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 2498 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the sale of and serving of prepared food using polystyrene foam containers statewide.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Kona Brewing Company; Surfrider Foundation; Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter; Friends of Hanauma Bay; Kauai Paramedics Association; Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii; Zero Waste Kauai; Kauai Lions Club; B-Rad Foundation; Kauai Surfrider; Progressive Democrats of Hawaii; One Ocean; Graduate Student Organization; Kokua Hawaii Foundation; Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu; Gentlewave Bodywork Referral, Inc.; Kauai National Wildlife Refuge; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hale Honu; Young Progressives Demanding Action; Kokua Hawaii Foundation; Keiko Conservation International; Sierra Club of Hawaii; For Forgotten Felines; Animal Rights Hawaii; Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii; and fifty-three individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the American Chemistry Council; Chamber of Commerce Hawaii; Hawaii Food Industry Association; Retail Merchants of Hawaii; Hawaii Restaurant Association; KYD, Inc. dba: K. Yamada Distributors; and a petition containing three hundred sixty-eight signatures.


Your Committee finds that many food service businesses in Hawaii use polystyrene foam containers for food that is taken out by customers. 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 Committee also finds that polystyrene foam containers do not biodegrade and, because of their expanded size, take up significant space in landfills. Your Committee finds that this measure is another way to create state policy to lessen the negative impacts of plastics on the environment.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2019, to allow time for those affected by this measure to prepare for implementation; and


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


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2498, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2498, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,