Mayor Derek Kawakami signed the administrative policy on Tuesday in the company of representatives from the County of Kaua‘i’s Public Works Solid Waste Division, Office of the County Attorney, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Economic Development. Photo courtesy County of Kaua‘i

Mayor Derek Kawakami signed on Tuesday a County of Kaua‘i administrative policy to prohibit the purchase, use, or distribution of disposable plastics on county property, according to a news release by the County of Kaua‘i.

The policy declares that county agencies and other authorized entities using county facilities will be prohibited from purchasing and distributing disposable plastics including bottled water, plastic beverage straws, stirrers, cutlery, food service ware, and plastic bags. This includes purchases made for county offices, facilities, county events, and events funded by the county through grants or other means.

“Through this policy our county departments will no longer purchase these one-time-use plastics for meetings and events,” Kawakami said. “And through our facility permits, we will prohibit its use and distribution by the public and event organizers at our county facilities such as the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, our neighborhood centers, and park pavilions.”

The administrative policy will go into effect on January 1, 2021, allowing County officials time to educate the public on the new policy and offer helpful tips on adjusting to the change.

“Our main goal with this measure is to encourage our community to limit the use of these wasteful products that are harmful to our environment and animal habitats, and shorten the lifespan of our landfill,” Kawakami said. “We are also dedicated to lead our community by example. We want to show our community what we as the County of Kaua‘i are doing to be part of the solution instead of contributing further to our own solid waste and environmental issues.”

Exemptions to the policy will include the purchase of plastic trash bags, utility gloves, catered food purchases, or products deemed by the county to be an emergency requiring immediate preservation of life, health, property, safety, or essential public services.

To view the administrative policy and learn about other plastic reduction efforts, visit www.kauai.gov/plasticpolicyandlaw.

For more information on the administrative policy, contact Allison Fraley at 241-4837.