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Disposable Food Ware Ordinance

Overview

The Disposable Food Ware Ordinance (DFWO) began as Bill 40, which passed in City Council with a vote of 7-2. 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:
    • Plastic Bag Ban amendments: new definitions for "plastic checkout bag" and "plastic film bag," both of which contain revisions to six exemptions, including exemptions regarding food products; 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.

 

Upcoming Education Campaign
ENV is in the process of finalizing the DFWO Administrative Rules and organizing an education campaign through mail, social media, press releases and the Refuse Division’s WasteLine e-newsletter. All affected businesses will be notified October 2020, and educational resources will be posted on this webpage.

Resources:

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.