Starting next Tuesday, you won’t find disposable foam boogie boards for sale or rent on Maui. That comes as the island implements its ban on these environmentally hazardous toys. We’ve seen countless discarded and broken foam bodyboards on Hawaii beaches, and this is a good move.
Maui was the first county to enact a ban on polystyrene food containers, which took place four years ago. This completes their bill, which also banned plastic bags. Ordinance No. 5236 identifies “disposable bodyboards” as having a polystyrene foam core. An environmentally favored alternative is called a “durable bodyboard.” It’s made with high-density polyethylene or polypropylene cores and will last several seasons.
What used to be called styrofoam is known as foamed polystyrene. The environmental issues associated with it include leaching into the water and soil and inadvertently ingesting the foam by birds and mammals. Polystyrene is very slow to degrade, and its manufacturing creates large volumes of hazardous waste. It is said that polystyrene manufacturing is a contributor to global warming.
A Honolulu polystyrene and plastic ban starts September 5.
Honolulu previously enacted a ban on polystyrene food containers (plastic ones too). But allegedly, the law’s implementation was postponed due to supply chain issues. It will now take effect on September 5. Suppliers of non-plastic replacements say there is no issue with sourcing and that the food industry has been obstinant about the change.
Those containers had previously been banned on the other islands starting in 2018. There is a global move towards the elimination of polystyrene foam.