Mayor moves to prohibit disposable plastics

LIHU‘E – Just one day before the Kauai County Council is set to consider a bill that would ban most polystyrene food containers from sale and use on Kauai, Mayor Derek Kawakami signed an administrative policy aimed at the same thing.

Tuesday, Kawakami signed the policy to prohibit the purchase, use, or distribution of disposable plastics on County property.

The policy declares that county agencies and other entities using county facilities will no longer be able to purchase and distribute disposable plastics including bottled water, plastic beverage straws, stirrers, cutlery, food service ware, and plastic bags. This includes purchases made for county offices, facilities, county events, and events funded by the county through grants or other means.

“Through this policy our county departments will no longer purchase these one-time-use plastics for meetings and events,” said Kawakami during the Thursday signing. “And through our facility permits, we will prohibit its use and distribution by the public and event organizers at our county facilities such as the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, our neighborhood centers, and park pavilions.”

The administrative policy will go into effect on January 1, 2021, allowing County officials time to educate the public on the new policy and offer helpful tips on adjusting to the change.

“Our main goal with this measure is to encourage our community to limit the use of these wasteful products that are harmful to our environment and animal habitats, and shorten the lifespan of our landfill,” said Kawakami. “We are also dedicated to lead our community by example. We want to show our community what we as the County of Kaua‘i are doing to be part of the solution instead of contributing further to our own solid waste and environmental issues.”

Exemptions to the policy will include the purchase of plastic trash bags, utility gloves, catered food purchases, or products deemed by the County to be an emergency requiring immediate preservation of life, health, property, safety, or essential public services.

Meanwhile, Councilmembers Mason Chock and KipuKai Kuali‘i have been gearing up to introduce Bill 2775 to the Kaua‘i County Council at today’s meeting. The bill aims to prohibit the use of foam containers, except in cases when products are shipped to the island in such containers.

The council meeting will be held at the Historic County Building on Rice Street, starting at 8:30 a.m.

  1. MisterM February 19, 2020 8:43 am Reply

    Excellent news and long over due. The world got alone just fine before plastics – especially ridiculous things like plastic bags, straws and foam containers. Go to SE Asia or Africa and see the unbelievable amounts of plastic in every stream, river, gully – and it all flows to the ocean. And for years we were told (by those who had vested interest selling plastic) that all our plastic was being recycled – turns out it was mostly a fraud – massive amounts just get taken to landfills. And now that oil prices are so low, it’s cheaper to use oil than recycled plastics.

    Let’s get a world ban on synthetic fishing nets next

  2. randy kansas February 19, 2020 4:21 pm Reply

    There will not be a “world” ban on anything….as long as India and China are the main culprits, as they are still developing their countries…and still trying to go from walking to cars in many areas !!!

    like someone said the other day….as we shop at the grocery store and pick up our chips in plastic, our plastic soda bottles, our lunch meat wrapped in plastic, our mustard in plastic squeeze bottles, our bread in plastic bags, our plastic laundry soap containers, and don’t forget all of our plastic water bottles (but the State cannot delete those, as they make revenue from the deposits)….and your telling me the plastic grocery bags are going to destroy the planet….??


    why not take on something bigger !!

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