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Honolulu City Council passes ban on single-use plastics in 7-2 vote

The Honolulu City Council today voted 7-2 to pass a bill that would bar the distribution of single-use plastic plates, bowls, and other foodware and serviceware in Oahu restaurants by 2022.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell, would be the most restrictive anti-plastic bill in the state.

Hawaii and Maui counties have laws prohibiting foam containers, but Honolulu would be the first to include all plastics as well as forks, spoons, knives, straws and other “serviceware.”

The bill’s passage came despite lingering concerns by restaurants and other food service businesses who called the measure too vague, confusing and left much to interpretation.

The proposal was spurred by environmental groups and bolstered by the support of high school and college students who seemed to turn out in growing numbers as the bill progressed through the Council process.

Council members Carol Fukunaga and Ann Kobayashi voted “no.”

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