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Monday, March 29, 2021
Fools. No Joke: Plastic Ware to be Outlawed Effective April 1
By News Release @ 9:47 PM :: 3545 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Small Business

Disposable Food Ware Ordinance resumes April 1

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Department of Environmental Services, March 29, 2021 

HONOLULU – The City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Environmental Services (ENV) reminds businesses Ordinance 19-30, also known as Bill 40 or the Disposable Food Ware Ordinance (DFWO), takes effect April 1, 2021.  This ordinance amends the plastic bag ban and restricts the use and sale of polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic food ware, and disposable plastic service ware in phases.  Enforcement of Ordinance 19-30 was postponed 90 days, from Jan. 1, 2021, to allow continued public education and businesses to exhaust existing inventories of non-compliant food ware. No further extensions have been granted as of this date.

Ordinance 19-30 modifies the definition of both “plastic checkout bag” and “plastic film bag,” which includes changes to its respective exemptions and adds a definition of “plastic.”  On April 1, this section of the ordinance becomes effective.  The restrictions on food and service ware contain two dates that requirements therein will become effective, as described below. Food vendors must provide fossil fuel-free utensils made of bioplastic, paper, or other renewable materials instead of petroleum plastic utensils and reduce the use of petroleum plastic takeout bags.

January 1, 2021 (Extended to April 1, 2021):
  • Polystyrene foam food ware cannot be sold, provided, or offered for sale or use at City facilities, City-authorized concessions, City-sponsored/permitted events, or City programs.
  • Disposable plastic service ware cannot be sold, served, or provided to customers by any food vendor in the City.
  • Disposable service ware may be provided or distributed by a food vendor only upon the request or affirmative response of a customer or person being provided the prepared food or beverage, and in a self-service area or dispenser.
January 1, 2022:
  • No food vendor shall sell, serve, or provide prepared food in polystyrene foam food ware or disposable plastic food ware.
  • No business shall sell polystyrene foam food ware, disposable plastic service ware, or disposable plastic food ware except for: (1) packaging for raw meat, raw poultry, raw seafood, unprepared produce, and uncooked eggs; (2) packaging for prepackaged food and shelf stable food; and (3) non-compliant products sold to a food vendor who has been granted an exemption for said products under Section 41-27.3, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu (ROH).

In accordance with ROH Sections 41-27.3(a) and (b) and 41-27.4(b), ENV is accepting only exemption applications for the first phase effective Jan. 1, 2021.  Exemption requests for the Jan. 1, 2022, phase may be submitted Oct. 1, 2021.

For information regarding other exemptions and restrictions relating to the DFWO, please visit, email ENV’s Recycling Branch at, or call (808) 768-3200 (Ext. 6).


SA: Ban on disposable plastic food utensils and single-use bags starts Thursday in Honolulu


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