Disposable Food Ware Ordinance

*The City suspends the restriction on disposable plastic service ware and polystyrene foam food ware, which took effect on January 1, 2021, for the period of the Mayor's state of emergency of disaster related to the COVID-19 pandemic.*


The Disposable Food Ware Ordinance (DFWO) began as Bill 40. It was signed into law on December 15, 2019 as Ordinance 19-30, and it has since been termed the DFWO. The intent of this ordinance is to protect human safety and welfare and to improve environmental quality on the island, in the neighboring marine environment, and globally. The DFWO affects all food vendors and businesses operating within the City & County of Honolulu (City).

This ordinance amends the Oʻahu Plastic Bag Ban and restricts the use and sale of polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic food ware and disposable plastic service ware. It also dictates when disposable service ware may be provided.

  • Effective January 1, 2021 (extended to April 1, 2021):
    • The Plastic Bag Ban will be amended to redefine "plastic checkout bag" and "plastic film bag," which changes six (6) exemptions (including food products exemptions). There is also a new definition of “plastic.”
    • No food vendor shall sell, serve, or provide disposable plastic service ware to customers.
    • A food vendor may only provide or distribute disposable service ware for prepared food or beverage:
      • upon request or affirmative response of a customer or person being provided prepared food or beverage, or
      • in a self-service area or dispenser.
    • Polystyrene foam food ware shall not be sold, provided, or offered for sale or use at any City facilities, City-authorized concession, City-sponsored or City-permitted events, or City programs.
  • Effective January 1, 2022:
    • No food vendor shall sell, serve, or provide prepared food in polystyrene foam food ware or disposable plastic food ware to customers.
    • No businesses shall sell polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic service ware, or disposable plastic food ware.


Reducing Waste and Litter:

  • Disposable plastic ware and packaging harm wildlife and are major contributors to street and beach litter, ocean pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Disposable plastics clog our storm drains and waterways, which poses a public safety and property risk especially during heavy rains.
  • This ordinance is consistent with the waste reduction goals of the City’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan and the State-level Aloha + Challenge.
  • Click for more on Waste Reduction Tips and Criminal Littering.

For inquiries, contact the City's Recycling Branch at businessrecycle@honolulu.gov or (808) 768-3200 ext. 6.


© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.