HONOLULU: Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) — The debate on how to move away from plastic and foam packaging in the food industry highlights fundamental shortcomings in how the government is doing its job— and how business is paying the price.
The council started with a basic bill concerned with plastic utensils and silicone containers. The goal was to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
But immediately the goal became to fight climate change as well–and the bill has become a massive ban on all sorts of plasticware that would have severely damaged most local food companies and cherished items such as poi and taro chips.
To add insult to injury, it has not covered mainland food imports that compete with local products.
The business community's misplaced indignation culminated in three rushed rewritings that completely misled the public. It barely passed a 3-2 vote committee with nobody certain of its effect.
The industry knows that single-use plastics need to be minimized and is progressing towards this end while research and the packaging sector are focusing on viable non-plastic substitutes.
Nevertheless, this hurried process is not quick enough for supporters of complete removal of all plastics. Because of profit, they routinely accuse businesses of stagnation.
Th climate change battle is a noble cause, but so is the battle in this state to change the business climate.
Tags : plastic utensils, silicone, government in Oahu,