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.