HONOLULU (KHON2) – A new law banning the sale, rental and distribution of disposable polystyrene bodyboards goes into effect on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

The ordinance to amend the original plastic bag ban was introduced last year Councilmember Tamara Paltin introduced the ordinance to amend the original plastic bag ban to limit the number of bodyboards discarded on beaches after a few uses.

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Disposable bodyboards are easily broken during use and not durable, spreading small bits of polystyrene foam in the ocean and on the beach. 

“As a former Ocean Safety Lieutenant, I’ve seen the pollution and harm that disposable polystyrene boogie boards can cause,” explained Councilmember Tamara Paltin. “It makes much more environmental sense for visitors to rent a durable bodyboard that can be returned after use. Residents should not own disposable boards at all.”

One of the most abundant forms of global pollution is toxins in foamed polystyrene. Polystyrene is a known environmental health hazard that leaches into the ocean and animals. The county of Maui report turtles and seabirds die of starvation and malnutrition after mistaking the small pieces of foam for food.

The Maui County ordinance was passed unanimously and signed into law by Mayor Michael Victorino on August 9, 2021.

“It’s time for all of us to eliminate disposable products to the extent possible,” said Mayor Victorino. “Everyone can save money and help the environment by replacing disposables with reusable products.”

He said Maui county businesses are encouraged to loan or rent durable bodyboards to their guests, promoting sustainable tourism and reusable recreation.

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For more information about the new law you are asked to reach out to the County Environmental Protection & Sustainability division by calling (808) 270–7631.