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The Last Cup Of Noodles? How to cope with Maui’s changing styrofoam law

tagsJute Matting Erosion Control

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It's finally here: "No Maui Bubble", as the county has mandated. After years of fierce quarrels, because some people think that only Styrofoam can hold beef, measures to regulate the use of polystyrene have been implemented. Beginning on New Year’s Eve, after a 19-month transition period, Maui County has banned the use, sale, or supply of “polystyrene” food service containers.

Business owners and individual consumers of single-use products still have to make choices about the best products to use, and they should also keep an eye on future developments so that they can stay ahead of future changes. "We can expect more regulations to regulate single-use plastic products in the near future, because there is no time to waste," Farnsworth told me.

Following these lines of thinking, last year, the then council member Elle Cochran drafted a decree called “Restricting the Use and Sale of Single-use Plastic Food”, using plastic straws, utensils, stirring rods, cocktail spoons, and lids. And other products as the goal. You will need to eliminate them and replace them with better products; that is, compostable substitutes. Her term was used up before the bill was considered, but the new Maui County Council is likely to resolve it as soon as possible.

With this in mind, I spoke with one of Maui’s most important experts on the "zero waste" campaign to learn more about the best single-use compostable products, those that constitute "eco-friendly" but In fact, it is not such a "greening" product, what the ideal future of true zero waste will look like. Ashley O'Colmain is a local flower farmer and the planning director of Huliau Green Events. Since 2016, the Maui Huliau Foundation (Maui Huliau Foundation) is a non-profit organization that promotes environmental literacy. Through its green activity plan, it has helped communities to reduce waste generation during festivals and events, thereby achieving " Zero waste".

In addition to cup noodles, other prohibited EPS items are food service containers, including plate lunch hinged flaps, cups, plates, bowls and trays. According to the non-foaming Maui fact sheet, “If food or beverages and food or beverages made of EPS can be placed on or in, this is not allowed.” With the exception of raw meat, raw meat can still be sold in foam trays; but , Sashimi and p are no exception.

"They will indeed enter the landfill. The stuff in the landfill will not decompose quickly or easily. But they will not leave behind the same harmful chemicals as plastic, if they end up in our environment, in the ocean Or on the roadside, they will decompose faster than plastic and will not cause the same damage. Plastic is harmful. This is not a perfect product, but it is better than plastic." When they decompose, they will not emit harmful Of greenhouse gases, which is different from plastic or polystyrene.

Farnsworth agrees: “Currently, there are no industrial composting facilities in Maui or even in Hawaii that can receive food waste or compostable food service products. This year, the Maui County Recycling Office is for West Mao. The feasibility study and further research and development of such facilities in Yidao provide grants." This effort led by Gretchen Losano is gaining more and more attention: "We are happy to support the community in this regard. Efforts made by similar facilities to'close the recycling cycle of food waste and compostable products' locally," Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth has another good argument for compostability. He told me: “It’s important to remember that even if we don’t have the compostable capacity on Maui, it’s not. Products made of plastic materials are still the best environmental choice because they do not rely on fossil fuels as raw materials. If not handled properly, non-plastic materials will decompose in the environment, which is different from plastic materials that require hundreds of years to decompose."

Therefore, although we do not yet have commercial composting facilities, we must start somewhere, and certified compostable products will not be washed away on our beaches like plastic.

These products can be found in all stores on the island: Sustainable Island Products, Maui Chemicals, VIP, Island Grocery, Hopaco, Triple F and Costco all come with certified compostable disposable products.

It is important to know and be able to determine what "certifiable compost" is, because there are many products that pretend to be "eco-friendly" products, but to put it simply, this is not the case. "Green cleaning" is an unethical business practice that takes advantage of consumers and business owners who want to use better products, but is not sure what it is. These products are usually marked or advertised as "eco-friendly" or "biodegradable". Just like the word "natural" in food and cosmetics, these words don't mean anything.

"Biodegradable doesn’t even make any sense. It can be plastic; O’Colmain says, it’s "something that won’t last forever." "Some companies try to trick you into buying things because they want to take advantage of what you want to do right Opportunity for things. "

The company uses many terms to make consumers think that they are choosing high-quality products: "biodegradable", "super-degradable", "green", "ecological", "earth-friendly", "made from recycled materials", And "produced with vegetable starch" may be a scam by enterprises, and there is no certifiable standard. In many cases, they are just plastics in disguise.

If we do not collectively take responsibility and make these changes, it will not be an easy task. If we use a new plastic fork for every meal and drink from an 8-ounce plastic bottle every time we are thirsty, the faded plastic will continue to peak on our breathtaking beaches, such as sad confetti. During our favorite surf breaks, the waves will be filled with broken plastics that have been used and thrown away forever. No one values ​​convenience more than a clean beach or a healthy world.

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