HONOLULU (KHON2) — It was a law proposed in 2019, and after a final extension set to end on September 5, the city’s disposable food ware ordinance will take effect.

Starting on September 6, single-use plastic and foam take-out containers can no longer be used.

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The Hawaii Restaurant Association President Sheryl Matsuoka said the change also applies to straws, restaurants will be able to hand them out at the request of customers or they could be fined.

“Please, restaurants get ready for the disposable food ware ordinance, because as of September 6, they will be out there going and visiting restaurants and passing out warnings, and then citations,” Matsuoka said. “But you will be getting a warning which will be documented.”

The HRA has worked with the City’s Department of Environmental Services to keep the industry informed of the changes.

The HRA has asked the city to push the date back by at least two more years due to supply issues.

Matsuoka said, “When we had asked for the extension, this last round, it was because of the supply chain disruption. At this stage, I know that all the products are here.”

Kahala Resident Quinna Takahashi said she saw some benefits from the city moving away from single-use plastics.

Takahashi said, “I think that would be a great option not only for the consumer but also for the Earth as well, we have to think about the aina and think about our lasting carbon footprint.”

Although changing to biodegradable materials comes at a cost for restaurants, that cost may also be passed down to the customer.

The Ruby Tuesday Hawaii Owner Rick Nakashima said they are trying to cope with the cost increases.

Nakashima said, “For us restaurateurs, it’s somewhere around a 30% cost increase in these items. And you know, in this day and age right now we’re getting hit with so many cost increases.”

He has already stopped using foam and single-use plastics at his restaurant and opting for paper containers.

Nakashima said, “It gets a little bit mushy after time, if you were to put a beef stew in there, but it won’t leak. So it isn’t a bad container.”

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A disposable food ware ordinance exemption application can be found on the city’s website, but approval is not guaranteed.