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City Council bill would ban foam food containers

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:39 p.m. HST, May 28, 2014

Honolulu eateries would be banned from using foam takeout containers under a bill introduced at the City Council Wednesday that would require them to use only compostable material.

Current law allows restaurants and other food vendors to use foam, or polystyrene, containers so long as they do not contain chlorofluorocarbons.

Bill 40, introduced by Council members Stanley Chang and Ann Kobayashi, would require plates, cups, bowls, trays and containers that are either hinged or lidded, to be compostable.

"It's time to go one step further in protecting our land," Chang said in a news release.

"Polystyrene foam containers are still made with the carcinogen styrene and do not break down safely, leaving our beaches and land scattered with toxic foam bits and endangering species that try to consume the foam."

The measure comes as the Council is considering another bill that would include compostable bags in a plastic bag ban scheduled to begin July 1, 2015.


Full text of Bill 40: http://bit.ly/1gBQ62Z

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walrus808 wrote:
It's also completely recyclable! Put a $0.05 deposit on it just like bottles and cans and watch that stuff get cleaned up. I really think it's time to put a two or three year ban on the city council, they're not doing much right now but passing bans.
on May 28,2014 | 02:31PM
mcc wrote:
Yep, instead of helping homeless they make it illegal to be homeless.
on May 28,2014 | 02:36PM
Hank13 wrote:
The homeless choose to be, (with few exceptions). Many are mentally ill or headed that way because of drug abuse. Keep them away from our tourist industry. They jeopardize our industry.
on May 28,2014 | 02:58PM
Barefootie wrote:
Not quite true, Hank13! Many don't choose to be 'homeless' but their financial situation is what is making it difficult to rent or own a home in tax hell Hawaii! Many live from paycheck to paycheck, just getting by and when an unexpected bill pops up, they are pushed over the financial edge and end up on the streets; but people like you don't care, saying that's just an excuse to be lazy, but your dead wrong!
on May 28,2014 | 03:29PM
Mickels8 wrote:
Not quite true, Barefootie. As a former IHS volunteer, there is more truth to Hank13's assertion than yours. Where your argument falls short is the fact that there is almost always shelter space available. Those that want help come to the shelters and abide by the curfew and rules. The big one is the no substance abuse policy.

Also, do you have any idea hard it is to evict someone from a rental propery? It takes months of legal action and the tenant often gets free legal representation from Legal Aid or some similar organization. In these cases, the courts often give the tenant a few months (on the owner's dime) to try and locate another place to live. It is not a short and easy process that you allude to. In the end, the landlord may incur up a significant loss due to legal fees, lost rental income and security deposit. This is why landlords often try to work a financial arrangement out with the tenant instead of going to court. These renters have plenty of time to try to find other accommodations.

on May 28,2014 | 03:46PM
Hank13 wrote:
I don't see some of the things you're crediting me with saying. I feel sorry for those who don't choose to be homeless (thus the word exceptions), but I don't sympathize with those who choose to be homeless and I sympathize even less for "enablers" like yourself who provide things and offer sympathy to the people who don't want any responsibility and live in areas that affect the income of working people (Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, ruin the public restrooms and take over many of our public parks).
on May 28,2014 | 04:32PM
Bdpapa wrote:
About time, this ban is way overdue!
on May 28,2014 | 04:18PM
niimi wrote:
Styrofoam containers may be recyclable; however, once contaminated with food oils no recycler accepts them so that is where one blockage is. The other is that foam is so bulky and returns so few dollars that it is not economically viable for a business to take up such recycling. Say you filled a cube van full of foam. Even if you got $100 for a truckload it would cost you more in employee costs and fuel to move all that bulky foam to a recycler.
on May 28,2014 | 04:37PM
Anonymous wrote:
Really? Could you follow that up with where people can actually recycle polystyrene containers in Hawaii?
on May 28,2014 | 06:08PM
jtamura69 wrote:
Yeah! Passing bans and fees.
on May 28,2014 | 07:10PM
noheawilli wrote:
Can we just make a movement where we support the businesses who use the products we are OK with? Why do we cry to the government every time someone is doing something somebody else doesn't like?
on May 28,2014 | 02:36PM
niimi wrote:
It is because people largely don't vote with their wallet because they are too weak to care.
on May 28,2014 | 04:38PM
aomohoa wrote:
In Hawaii people are apathetic and don't vote. No one should complain about anything when we have one of the lowest voter turn outs in the USA.
on May 28,2014 | 08:45PM
bumba wrote:
Nothing better to do. Vote this lolos out.
on May 28,2014 | 02:41PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Whoa! Stanley is running full tilt for Congress, that's what this is all about.....
on May 28,2014 | 02:58PM
kiragirl wrote:
Humbug for many but it is needed because Honolulu has trash all over the place.
on May 28,2014 | 03:00PM
PMINZ wrote:
It looks to me as if most of the trash (Opala not the people.) I see is around the areas where the Homeless hang out. Like at the Bus stop I get off the Bus at Union Mall downtown.
on May 28,2014 | 03:34PM
golfcrackerjack wrote:
Styrene remains under investigation as a possible carcinogen, far from demonstrated. Honolulu city government is a carcinogen under Chang's loose criteria. Just fix our crappy streets and shut up. With regard to Congress, on my way back from DC last Friday I had Hanabusa in front of me and Mazie to my left (I realize the pun). While awaiting takeoff I was on phone with wifey, told her of my good luck and she asked if i had a baseball bat in my carry-on.
on May 28,2014 | 03:05PM
iwanaknow wrote:
long overdue
on May 28,2014 | 03:08PM
Graham wrote:
Bills would like to see introduced and passed at the City and State levels 1. You would have to resign your present elected position to seek another elected position. 2 Terms limits for State Senators and House members. 3. Present legislators do not qualify for raises they voted for.
on May 28,2014 | 03:10PM
Anonymous wrote:
I would support your #1 and #3 ideas, but we already have #2... it's called elections.
on May 28,2014 | 06:10PM
Maipono wrote:
Seriously, do we have the most ridiculous City Council in the Universe? This will not eliminate trash, just change the type of trash that careless people will litter. Now instead of foam trash, there will be compostable trash lying around, and the cost of plate lunches will now have to go up. We can choose who is in government, go and vote out all incumbent Democrats or in the case of the City Council all the incumbents.
on May 28,2014 | 03:17PM
Compassionate_Cat wrote:
We used to have cardboard and paper which was natural and broke down but we didn't want to waste trees so we no longer have "paper or plastic." Now, we are going to waste the taxpayers (us, our) time to make a huff out of what we are using legally. Why? Incineration reduces these things into nothing in seconds, doesn't even leave ash.
on May 28,2014 | 03:20PM
PMINZ wrote:
Simple! When one wants a Hot cup of coffee, one just must Cup their hands, and fill them up - - - - Yowwie!
on May 28,2014 | 03:31PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The homeless, once boiled down and compressed, can be fashioned into completely biodegradable packaging products.
on May 28,2014 | 03:27PM
Barefootie wrote:
Here they go again, the Honolulu city council creating more problems for the food industry on O'ahu; with their legislation to ban something else, without bothering to see if there is a viable alternative available! What the Honolulu city council is doing will increase the price of take out foods, when the cost of just living in the state of Hawaii is already too high for the average citizen! Council members Kobayashi and Chang need to be reigned in and made to realize that they are not offering solutions but instead creating greater problems for everyone!
on May 28,2014 | 03:34PM
mick96734 wrote:
With I believe 95% or more of our trash being burned at HPOWER, I don't understand the need to create new restrictions on takeout containers. The City Council should focus their attention on the homeless problem, which is causing a significant impact on our lifeline, the tourism industry.
on May 28,2014 | 03:36PM
anon2 wrote:
on May 28,2014 | 07:50PM
PMINZ wrote:
Oh an by the way, mentioning the plastic bags, I see more and more of the "Reusable" bags floating around. Doesn't look like it is working.
on May 28,2014 | 03:37PM
Skyler wrote:
Reusable bags don't 'float' like plastic bags; they're usually made of canvas, cloth or something similar. Are you sure that's what you saw?
on May 28,2014 | 06:20PM
aomohoa wrote:
Love when people make things up. LOL I have never seen a reusable bag floating around. You pay good money for them.
on May 28,2014 | 08:50PM
whaole wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing the pattern here. "$Cha-ching$" more cost = more tax revenue = more Govt. worker's pay raises. I still think the Govt. Leaders need to be paid minimum wage in order to totally get the big picture. I guess we'll be paying $10 for plate lunches now. Good call City Council.
on May 28,2014 | 03:42PM
pj737 wrote:
I vote that everyone brings their own bowl and they just scoop the yummy into your bowl. Everyone happy!!!
on May 28,2014 | 04:03PM
mineeyes wrote:
Don't forget bowl #2!
on May 28,2014 | 04:37PM
niimi wrote:
Just ban all containers!
on May 28,2014 | 04:34PM
niimi wrote:
We need to ban plate lunches, as they create non-recycled litter, cause people all sorts of health problems, and supports cash businesses who are skirting tax laws.
on May 28,2014 | 04:40PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Can't wait for the homeless to be rooting through the trash bins looking for "foam gold"...they do this already for cans/bottles.
on May 28,2014 | 04:42PM
engineersoldier wrote:
If we had a mayor with any vision, this would have been long ago. Honolulu should be the leader in the nation on sustainability.
on May 28,2014 | 04:55PM
AndrewWalden wrote:
Study: Styrofoam Better for Environment than Tree Killing Paper Products http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/5146/Study-Styrofoam-Better-for-Environment-than-Tree-Killing-Paper-Products.aspx
on May 28,2014 | 05:01PM
HD36 wrote:
How much do they pay the liberal rag thought control team?
on May 28,2014 | 05:26PM
OPGLAW wrote:
Good, about time. It's embarrassing that our city still tolerates Styrofoam. Most other western cities have banned it.....
on May 28,2014 | 05:43PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Make the plates and containers edible.
on May 28,2014 | 06:43PM
ResponsibleCitizen wrote:
Yep, as if food is not already expensive enough here... This in conjunction with the minimum wage increase should really help the economy and small business... /sarc Does the city and state want to bankrupt local business? must be... Yep keep votng liberal progressive people, until all our economy and liberty is gone.
on May 28,2014 | 07:10PM
leahi2 wrote:
I must be missing out on something here! I never thought that we had a problem with styrofoam trash littering the whole island.. Also this big scare about carcinogens is a laugher. I mean you hear any stories about anyone getting stomach cancer from eating plate lunches? All this ballyhoo makes me think of my time in the Army when we were served meals in our own aluminum mess kits. You think this is funny? The City Council has nothing better to do! That to me is a joke!
on May 28,2014 | 10:05PM
pursuit2000 wrote:
Hmmm, I wonder what his campaign signs and posters are made of?
on May 28,2014 | 11:04PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Yup, back to peppa plates wit da foil cova!
on May 28,2014 | 11:16PM
BigOpu wrote:
...or wrapped in peppa w rubba band like Kaneda's and Honda's used to do.
on May 28,2014 | 11:30PM
2NDC wrote:
Stanley Chang is a horrible an 1d10t. This bill proves it. We can now look forward to a spike in the cost of our take out meals. Another piece of "anti-business" legislation. Luckily he's still young so he may learn a bit about taking care of his constituents instead of giving them the shaft.
on May 29,2014 | 12:22AM
jose2011746 wrote:
Right on walrus, I would extend the ban to "forever". They are "feathering" their own nests by raising fees and property taxes.
on May 29,2014 | 08:03AM
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