Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 11




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 11 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


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


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education; Office of Hawaiian Affairs; one member of the Hawaii County Council; Department of Environmental Services of the City and County of Honolulu; County of Maui Department of Environmental Management; Ocean Tourism Coalition; Surfrider Foundation Oahu; Keiko Conservation; League of Women Voters of Hawaii; Sierra Club of Hawaii; Zero Waste Oahu; Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii; Fisherwood, LLC; Dolphin Quest; Kaiser High School Wipeout Crew; Animal Rights Hawaii; and over sixty individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from PLASTICS, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Wiki Wiki Drive Inn, Loco Moco Drive Inn, Hibachi Kailua, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and Department of Health.


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.


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. 11 and recommends that it pass Second Reading 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,