The legislative process is surging ahead Surfrider’s, and we need your continued support in creating a healthy Hawaii.

For all bills sse these simple instructions to testify, by filling in the bill # (They are listed below for this specific action alert):

On Thursday Feb. 9th, 8:30 AM (House Conference Room 325)  we have been alerted of two more priority bills that are up for hearing:

HB 1545: A Ban on Styrofoam in State Run Facilities: Prohibits the use of polystyrene food and beverage containers in state-owned and state-run buildings and facilities beginning 1/1/2020.  Requires that food and beverages be packed in compostable containers.  Prohibits new contracts to purchase polystyrene food or beverage containers beginning 1/1/2018.

Quick Talking Points:

  • Department of Education (DOE) – 80% of schools use foam trays and plastic forks, ~800 of each per day per school
  • You can use the same Testimony for HB 1545 as you did for Senate Bill 1109, with an emphasis that State agencies includes the department of Education – thus if you have concerns about children having no option but to eat off of foam containers in school lunch programs, please add your story here.
  • Our State agencies should be a leader in sustainability, setting example for responsible resource use
  • HI Department of Transportation includes reduction credits for a State
  • Follow this link to the costs arguments in yesterday’s action alerts

HB 1577: Establishes a composting pilot project in DOE schools. Establishes a pilot project working group. Appropriates funds.

  • This project would collect data on the estimated 10 million annual pounds of organics that could be kept out of the waste stream if schools were to establish on-campus composting.
  • Creates a hands-on learning experience about food sovereignty and soil building for students.
  • Schools that have implemented this show high engagement by students.
  • Keiki need to understand science, resource management, and the economies involved through learning laboratories that engage them in the process outside of the books.
  • The potential for the DOE to cut its disposal pickup frequency and tipping fees by 50%, resulting in an estimated 7-9 million fewer pounds of wet, organic waste and paper entering Hawaii’s landfills and incinerator(s).
  • Governor Ige, as well as the Aloha+ Challenge, have called for doubling local food production by 2020. For this to work, students have to be engaged early to learn about building soil through composting and utilizing organic resources.
  • The Aloha+ Challenge calls for reducing the solid waste stream prior to disposal by 70 percent by 2030 through source reduction, recycling, bioconversion, and landfill diversion methods. This goal, signed by the Governor, four county Mayors, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, State Legislature, and Hawai‘i Green Growth public-private partners across the state, has no hope of being achieved unless the largest sources of waste, like DOE, are addressed. 
  • On-site composting systems and programs provided a much-needed opportunity for students to practice diverting resources to their highest and best use and watching as they are transformed into “black gold” to support their school gardens.
  • The requirement for DOH to participate in the working group ensures that schools, and those responsible for public health, can together create an appropriately-sized set of regulations and safety measures that allow food grown on campus to be sold to benefit the school, because they have been confirmed as pathogen free.
  • The introduction of composting systems on campus provide science and math curriculum opportunities to meet national standards.