No More Plastic Foodware

Maui County News Release 

Maui County’s Plastic Disposable Foodware Ordinance No. 5084 went into effect March 1, and the County’s Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division continues working with affected businesses and suppliers to help them transition toward non-plastic products. With the exception of some temporary exemptions, plastic foodware will no longer be used at take-out restaurants or for purchase at stores on Molokai. 

“We are focused on education and working with businesses to comply with this new law,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “There is a temporary exemption process in place to assist businesses with supply-chain challenges and those that need to exhaust non-compliant supplies. We will assist in every way possible. We want to see our local businesses thrive as we take steps toward protecting our environment.”

A number of businesses, such as those experiencing COVID-19 related shipping and supply delays, are being granted temporary exemptions, so some plastic foodware may remain in use by some businesses in the coming months. County-approved exemption notices will be posted at each business location that has been granted an exemption.

Businesses affected by shipping and supply concerns, or other compliance issues, are encouraged to request an application for temporary exemption by emailing recycle.maui@mauicounty.gov.

The ban affects businesses that package food or beverages to order (take-out, deli counter, and drinks), as well as businesses that sell these items for use. Instead, businesses will provide non-plastic products that are safer for the environment.

Banned items include plastic disposable food service containers and utensils such forks, spoons and knives, and plates, trays, bowls, cups, hinged (plate lunch) containers and straws.

With the new law now in effect, residents can expect that when shopping at local retail stores, utensils, cups, plates, bowls, and other types of disposable foodware will be non-plastic. Takeout food will be served in non-plastic containers. Utensils and straws must be non-plastic, and will be provided by request only. Disposable foam coolers will be banned for sale or use.

Plastic containers used for “prepackaged food” will be allowed, but is discouraged.

“The end of single-use plastic foodware doesn’t mean the end of convenience,” Victorino said. “We can all aspire to achieve ‘zero-waste’ in Maui County by making small changes that make a big difference in helping our environment. Remember: reduce, reuse, and recycle waste materials.”

For more information on Plastic Disposable Foodware Ordinance No. 5084, visit mauicounty.gov/plasticfree


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