Disposable Food Ware Ordinance

Overview
The Disposable Food Ware Ordinance 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 Disposable Food Ware Ordinance. 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 City's Department of Environmental Services (ENV) is responsible for implementation and enforcement.

This ordinance restricts the use and sale of polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic food ware and disposable plastic service ware, and also amends the O`ahu Plastic Bag Ban.

  • Effective January 1, 2021:
    • Plastic Bag Ban amendments: new definitions for "Plastic checkout bag" and "Plastic film bag" (both of which include revisions to the exemptions), and new definition of “Plastic.”
    • Disposable plastic service ware cannot be sold, served, or provided to customers.
    • Disposable (non-plastic) service ware may only be provided
      • upon request or affirmative response of a customer being provided prepared food or beverage, or
      • in a self-service area or dispenser.
    • Polystyrene foam food ware cannot be sold, provided, or offered for sale or use at any City and County of Honolulu facilities, City-authorized concession, City-sponsored or City-permitted events, or City programs.
  • Effective January 2, 2022:
    • Polystyrene foam food ware and disposable plastic food ware cannot be sold, served, or provided to customers.
    • Businesses cannot sell polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic service ware, or disposable plastic food ware.

Upcoming Education Campaign
ENV and the Resilience Office are facilitating a Disposable Food Ware Ordinance Advisory Group, whose purpose is to provide feedback for ENV’s administrative rulemaking process. After conclusion of Advisory Group meetings, ENV will be launching an education campaign through mail, social media, and the Refuse Division’s WasteLine e-newsletter. All affected businesses will be notified summer 2020, and educational resources will be posted on this webpage.

Resources:

  • Disposable Food Ware Ordinance
  • O`ahu Plastic Bag Ban
  • Information sheet – coming soon
  • Frequently Asked Questions – coming soon
  • Definitions – coming soon
  • Printable flyers – coming soon
  • ENV Administrative Rules – updated version coming soon
  • Exemption form – coming soon

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.