Polystyrene Food Service Container Ban


Ordinance 1079 Article 27, Chapter 22 restricting the use and sale of polystyrene foam food containers takes effect on January 1, 2022. The Administrative Rules associated with the Ordinance were finalized on October 6, 2021.

Ordinance highlights:

  • Food providers shall not sell, use, provide, or offer polystyrene foam food service containers
  • Polystyrene foam service containers shall not be offered for sale or sold in the County
  • “Food provider” means any entity or person providing prepared food for consumption
  • “Food service container” means all plates, trays, cups, bowls, cartons, and hinged or lidded containers (clamshells) on or in which any foods or beverages are placed or packaged or intended to be placed or packaged and designed for one-time use
  • “Polystyrene foam” means blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded foams

Below is a copy of the Ordinance and the Administrative rules.

Ordinance 1079(PDF, 180KB)

Administrative Rules Related to Ordinance 1079(PDF, 158KB)

The Administrative Rules allow for exemptions. Please see the exemption application forms below. If you have questions, call (808) 241-4837.

Application for Exemption Unique to Food Provider Ord 1079(PDF, 214KB)

Application for Emergency Exemption Ord 1079(PDF, 211KB)

A downloadable notice is available here- ORDINANCE 1079 NOTICE(PDF, 184KB)

For alternative container options please see below.

Compostable Food Service Containers

There are several companies on Kauai that carry compostable food service containers that would be allowed under the proposed Restriction of the Use and Sale of Polystyrene Foam Food Service Containers.

Hopaco-Officemax - 808-246-9257

Jimmy's Sales - 808-246-0444

Triple F / Ventures - 808-246-4886

Costco and Walmart in Lihue have also started carrying compostable supplies for events.

There are also online vendors that supply comparable containers, quantities, and styles.

When purchasing containers please be aware of the following definitions:

"ASTM Standard" means the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

"ASTM Standard D6400" means the ASTM specification for plastics and products that are designed to be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities.

"ASTM Standard D6868" means the ASTM specification establishing the requirements for labeling of materials and products (including packaging) wherein a biodegradable plastic film or coating is attached to compostable substrates and the entire product or package is designed to be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities.

"Compostable" means materials that are able to undergo biological decomposition or become part of usable compost in a safe and timely manner either in an appropriate composting program or facility, or in a home compost pile or device. Food service containers containing plastics to qualify as compostable, such food service containers must meet ASTM Standard D6400 for Compostable Plastics or ASTM Standard D6868 for biodegradable plastic film.

List of Available Suitable Compostable Containers:

This list contains available suitable compostable containers that can be used as alternatives to polystyrene products. Contact the vendor directly for cost information. If you have questions, please call the County Recycling Office at 241-4841.

Acceptable compostable alternatives(XLSX, 35KB) (Excel Spreadsheet)- Includes containers, utensils, cups, and stirrers.