Economic Impact

The foam industry provides thousands of jobs and saves schools, businesses, consumers, and government agencies millions of dollars every year. Polystyrene foam benefits Hawaii by offering superior value, increased efficiency, and strong economic solutions for the Aloha State.

A Hawaii foam ban would hurt school districts. Many school districts use foam lunch trays because they can realize significant savings –
a foam tray costs considerably less than a compostable tray.

Foam products help Hawaii’s restaurants stay in business. Hawaii’s mom-and-pop restaurants are a cultural treasure, offering locals and tourists alike an authentic culinary experience. These restaurants operate on razor-thin profit margins and foam products offer them an affordable and effective food storage solution. A polystyrene foam ban could cost some of Hawaii’s restaurant owners up to tens of thousands of dollars per year.
manufacturing plant

Foam supports the local economy. Foam is manufactured locally in Hawaii by a family-run business, providing kama’aina with jobs and bolstering the local economy. Choosing a locally produced foam product over an imported alternative shrinks the carbon footprint.

Foam is far more economical than alternative materials. Food-grade polystyrene containers are generally two to three times less expensive than disposable paperboard products and reusable foodservice items. These strong foam containers provide excellent insulation at an economical price and allow Hawaii’s hardworking business owners to save money in a challenging economic climate.

“The proposed foam ban would likely be the tipping point for many locally-owned family restaurants: the higher cost of alternative containers coupled with the recent minimum wage increase and rising food costs may force local owners to close down their restaurants.” – Roger Morey, Hawaii Restaurant Association