S.B. NO.



















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the human-induced global climate crisis requires thoughtful but bold responses on many fronts to make Hawaii communities resilient to the impacts of climate change that threaten the very survivability of these fragile islands.  Lest Hawaii lose its leadership position in meeting the future of labor, justice and equity, the legislature embraces aloha aina as a green new deal to decarbonize Hawaii's systems of food, energy, and transportation, and to sequester carbon through systems of agriculture, waste management and ecosystem restoration.  This solid foundation finds synergies with expanded access to health, housing and education, multiplying good jobs and ensuring justice and equity for Hawaii's citizens.  This measure represents a forward step in mitigating and adapting Hawaii to inevitable change.

     The legislature finds and acknowledges that municipal solid waste, particularly plastics, has become a significant threat to Hawaii's environment, ecosystems, and beaches on which the State's economy, culture, and native species rely.

     Plastic waste and debris can be increasingly found on every island and in every watershed and protected area in the Hawaiian archipelago.  Hawaii's forests, streams, and beaches are strewn with plastic debris, including micro plastic debris smaller than grains of sand that are consumed by a spectrum of animals from the smallest of endangered birds to the largest humpback whale.

     The Washington Post reported that an estimated five million to thirteen million tons of plastic debris enter the ocean every year, which has contributed to creating the Pacific garbage patch, a mass of plastic debris larger than the state of Texas floating north of Hawaii.  If nothing changes, it is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the Pacific Ocean, by weight, than fish.  Hawaii residents generate 2.8 tons of waste per person per year, more waste per capita than residents of any other state.  More than eighty per cent of plastic waste entering the Pacific Ocean comes from preventable land-based waste and pollution.

     Therefore, the legislature finds that fossil fuel-based single-use plastics must be eliminated to conserve fossil fuel reserves, such as oil and natural gas, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

     The legislature further finds that there is opportunity to protect Hawaii's environment from greenhouse gas emissions from municipal solid waste, including plastic waste, through landfill diversion by recycling, reusing, composting, and clean energy conversion technologies and by enacting a prohibition against single-use plastic use by retail restaurant establishments.

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


The Sustainable Food Service Ware Act

     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

     "Biodegradable" means entirely made of organic materials such as wood, paper, bagasse, or cellulose; or bioplastics that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D7081 standard for Biodegradable Plastics in the Marine Environment; provided that any ASTM D7081 product must be clearly labeled with the applicable standard.

     "Clean energy conversion facility" means a facility that generates energy not from fossil fuel and not produced by a combustion method that releases greenhouse gases into the environment.

     "Compostable" means made from bioplastics materials certified to meet the American Society for Testing and Materials International Standards D6400 (the specification for plastics designed for compostability of plastics used as coatings on a compostable substrate) or D6868, as those standards may be amended.

     "Disposable food service ware" means all food and beverage containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons, cups, lids, straws, stirrers, forks, spoons, knives, film wrap, and other items designed for one-time or non-durable uses on or in which any food vendor directly places or packages prepared foods or which are used to consume foods, including but not limited to service ware for takeout foods and leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared at food establishments.

     "Food establishment" means an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption, including without limitation restaurants and food trucks.

     "Recyclable material" means material that can be sorted, cleansed, and reconstituted using the local municipality’s regular year-round collection program for the purpose of using the altered form in the manufacture of a new product.

     "Regular year-round collection" means either the municipal curbside pickup or a municipal transfer station in communities that do not have curbside pickup; provided that recyclable plastics material must be identified by its plastic resin code in a visible manner on the food service ware; and provided further that the materials are not solid waste that is burned, incinerated, converted, or otherwise thermally destroyed unless in a clean energy conversion facility.

     "Reusable products" means products that will be used more than once in its same form by a food establishment, including but not limited to reusable food service ware, tableware, flatware, food or beverage containers, packages or trays, soft drink bottles and milk containers that are designed to be returned to the store or distributor that provided the take-out containers, aluminum and glass containers, cleanable durable containers, packages or trays used on-premises, or returnable containers brought back to the food establishment.

     §   -2  Food prepared or packaged on premises.  (a)  Except as provided in this section on and after January 1, 2021, all retail food establishments using any food service ware for any food prepared or packaged on premises shall use biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, or reusable food service ware.  It shall be a policy of the State to strongly encourage food establishments to use reusable food service ware in place of using disposable food service ware for all food served on premises.

     (b)  The department of health shall promulgate regulations with regard to the enforcement of this chapter."

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2021.














Report Title:

Plastic Ware; Retail Food Establishments; Biodegradable, Compostable, Recyclable, or Reusable Food Service Ware



Requires all retail food establishments using any food service ware for any food prepared or packaged on premises to use biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, or reusable food service ware.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.