A ban on polystyrene food packaging may have died in the Hawaii state Legislature this session, but on Monday, May 8 the Maui County Council will take up a new bill that restricts their use in the county.
“Due to its lightweight nature and ability to break down into smaller fragments that persist for decades, polystyrene has significant negative impacts on the environment, contributes to the potential death of marine animals and avian populations through ingestion, and is a suspected human carcinogen,” states Bill 127. “The Council finds and declares that, to protect the County’s unique environment and the health and welfare of its marine and avian life and its people, polystyrene food service containers must be regulated.”
They will be accepting public testimony, and the County Council says the following people are already scheduled to give presentations:
Cheryl King, Sharkastics (they fight marine debris)
Megan Lamson, Hawaii Wildlife Fund (wildlife conservation group)
Lynn Dyer, Foodservice Packaging Institute (lobbying group for the manufacturers of polystyrene containers)
Kerry Flickner, Waste Solutions for Foodservice Sustainability Solutions (sells polystyrene recycling systems)
Dr. George Cruzan, ToxWorks (researcher who says human health risk from styrene is negligible)
Dr. Hillary Young, University of California Santa Barbara (community ecologist and assistant professor)
Dr. Douglas McCauley, University of California Santa Barbara (ecology researcher)
Dr. Ruth Lunn, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Director of the Office of the Report on Carcinogens)
The meeting will take place at 9am on Monday, May 8 in the 8th floor Council Chambers (200 S. High St., Wailuku).