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It’s time to stop the foam on Maui

By Staff | Nov 24, 2016

Plastic bags are history on Maui. Let’s take the next step and become the first county in Hawaii to ban single-use Styrofoam to-go containers.

Members of the Surfrider Foundation-Maui Chapter and other “Stop The Foam!” advocates will ask County Council members to support a bill to phase-out Styrofoam at an Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee meeting at the County Building on Monday, Nov. 28, at 1:30 p.m.

If you agree, also e-mail testimony to iemcommittee@ mauicounty.us and sign the petition at change.org (go in the search box and type “Stop the Foam!”).

Phasing out polystyrene food service containers is a no-brainer, because Styrofoam is toxic and very resilient, and safer compostable products are now widely available.

The petition notes: “Polystyrene foam products are bad for human health and the environment:

“Polystyrene does not biodegrade, but instead breaks down into micro-plastics that are often consumed by seabirds and other marine animals;

“Polystyrene products are more than 90% air, causing them to break apart easily and litter waterways or blow out to sea;

“Polystyrene products are made from styrene, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin that leaches into hot, greasy food;

“According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 100% of Americans have styrene in their bodies.”

If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider that Polystyrene foam products are the most toxic and least recycled type of plastic.

Nontoxic, plant-based compostable containers are now carried by every distributor in Hawaii. There is no good excuse not to use them.

The Surfrider petition argues that Maui County’s environment and community would greatly benefit from a phase-out of polystyrene food containers. The council should make it happen.