Surfrider’s we need your support today in testimony

Action Alert:

Bill 71, Oahu’s foam ban, is being heard this Wednesday at 1pm. 
Testimony is due Tuesday (by the end of the day at the latest)
It is best to come in person to share testimony, but if you cannot, please submit written testimony. Those coming in person must still submit written testimony (indicate you will attend on the form).
Submit Written Testimony and/or Register to Testify in Person here:
(Information to use in the form in picture below)

November 15th Public Works Committee

Date/Time:  Wednesday, 11/15 @ 1:00 p.m. (Bill 71 is 2nd item on Agenda)

Location: Honolulu Hale Committee Meeting Room (2nd Floor)


We need your support more than ever.  There has been plenty of time for the opposition to build support against Bill 71. They have lobbied heavily already and they will push back very hard against passage on Wednesday and moving forward.


This hearing is for the Public Works Committee. This vote affects if the Bill will be considered by the full County Council. In order for Bill 71 to move forward, more supporting testimony is crucial!. Please spread the word! Ask your networks to submit written testimony today and tomorrow here and if possible to show up to the committee meeting to provide oral testimony this Wednesday at 1pm.


Copy of Bill 71 (2017) here:

Feel free to adapt & copy/paste the sample testimony below to submit!
My name is ____ and I am a resident of ___. I am writing in full support of Bill 71 to reduce polystyrene foam on Oʻahu. Thank you for considering this important bill.
[Include your personal observations, opinions and stories on foam, your “why” – purpose for supporting a reduction of polystyrene foam. Also good to share positive stories of you using compostables at local restaurants.]
[Include your favorite talking points below.]
Talking Points:
Environmental Perspective:
  • Foam is made up of over 90% air, making it lightweight. Even when properly disposed of, it commonly blows out of trash cans and into storm drains and the ocean.
  • Foam is made of petroleum and lasts for hundreds of years in the environment, polluting the land and ocean.
  • Foam is commonly mistaken for food by animals, including protected and endangered animals, which makes animals sick and can lead to death.
  • 0% of foam is recycled locally
  • Hawaii’s State Department of Transportation produced a trash plan showing that styrofoam & plastic bags are the top two contributors to our waste stream, costing the State millions of dollars to cleanup.
Business/Restaurant Perspective:
  • There are hundreds of foam free restaurants in Hawaii. The Ocean Friendly Restaurants Hawaii program has certified over 140 restaurants, all of which are voluntarily foam free, and most of them being small, locally owned businesses. None of these restaurants have reported financial burden from going foam-free.
  • Alternatives to foam are abundant: from paper to compostables to recyclable plastic, these alternatives are available from nearly any distributor on the island, and prices for eco-friendly alternatives are consistently decreasing as the demand continuously increases.
Non-Toxicity of Alternatives:
  • Compostable containers are 100% plant based, burning more energy per container than foam since foam is over 90% air, and compostables burn energy without the toxins contained in foam.
  • Because compostable foodware is made 100% from plants, if they end up in the environment and ocean, they will break down quickly and be non-toxic to the environment and animals.
  • Production and distribution of compostable and eco-friendly containers provides just as much job opportunity as production and distribution of foam, without the health hazards posed to employees from exposure to the toxins in foam.
  • It is our responsibility to create a better environment for future generations, and it starts today with important bills like this
As a representative of the people, I urge you to make a decision that chooses the long-term benefit of Hawaii’s people and environment rather than the short-term conveniences of business. Thank you for your consideration of my testimony and of this important issue.
[Your Name]
General Tips:
  • Focus on a strong personal story – why does this issue matter to you? What have you observed or experienced to make this important to you?
  • Try not to say “ban” as this is really just a reduction of foam for restaurants and includes many exceptions.
  • If you or someone you know manages/owns a foam-free restaurant, please share perspective on how easy it was to switch! The business/economic perspective is really important!
  • Check out this video for inspiration: