Maui launches zero-waste stainless steel take-out container program
Hawaii’s first zero-waste take-out container program, HuiZero, has just launched at participating restaurants on the island of Maui. The boxes are food safe, easy to clean, and endlessly reusable, making them ideal for an island chain like Hawaii.
HuiZero’s mission is to help eliminate single-use plastic and reduce plastic pollution in all of the Hawaiian Islands, said Kevin Watkins II. Watkins is the owner of Maui Sustainable Solutions LLC, the creator of the program and an organization developing technologies, programs and infrastructure to create sustainability solutions. The partnership with Watkins is Maui’s Department of the Environment, Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Department of Health, and Moku Roots, a zero-waste, zero-waste, vegan and vegetarian restaurant. , sustainable restaurant in Maui, he said.
Stainless steel boxes are food safe, easy to clean, and endlessly reusable, making them perfect for an island chain like Hawaii. HuiZero
In places like Hawaii, single-use plastic pollution and other waste pose a particular challenge to local marine life. Ocean plastics, in particular, from land and ocean currents can entangle whales and dolphins, suffocate and starve seabirds, fish and baby sea turtles, and erode endangered and endangered corals. other sensitive ecosystems.
HuiZero works as a collaboration between restaurateurs and their customers. The former buy stainless steel HuiZero containers, which are redeemable at all other participating restaurants. When customers order take-out food, they pay a $ 10 deposit to receive their food in a reusable container. The next time they order from a participating restaurant, they can return that box to receive $ 10 in cash or a $ 10 credit for their food, depending on the restaurant. The boxes do not need to be brought back clean. Used containers go straight into the pile of dirty dishes and are washed, rinsed and sanitized along with the rest of the restaurant dishes. Then they’re ready for the next sustainability-conscious customer to use.
“Every time a container is used, it’s one less single-use container in the landfill,” Watkins told Maui Now. Since they are endlessly reusable, they have the potential to rid Maui of single-use food containers.
Their durability and reusable nature also make them ideal for Hawaii, which often has to import things like food containers from the mainland and abroad. In the long term, a program like this could potentially reduce carbon emissions due to reduced shipping and plastic production needs.
The innovative program hopes its stainless steel boxes will replace single-use petroleum and plant-based containers. As its webpage states, this is important because “most of the time even ‘compostable’ containers end up in the landfill. While paper or cardboard containers without a plastic liner can be composted in garden compost, “bioplastics” will only decompose in an industrial composting facility that Maui does not have. “
“Our program is simple and easy for restaurants and consumers alike, coordinating with local governments to promote single-use plastic legislation that comes into effect in every county,” Watkins told EcoWatch.
Between Maui Sustainable Solutions, LLC and Moku Roots, they created farm-to-table practices, installed a distributed network of free water refill stations across the islands, and launched the #plasticfreemaui campaign. Now, with the HuiZero program, they are already coordinating the expansion to other Hawaiian Islands as well as the development of its sister company on the mainland, Watkins said.
HuiZero came into being after Maui Sustainable Solutions received a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Management, and Sustainable Division for a feasibility study on reusable take-out containers for Maui. The program is already gaining notoriety in remote areas of Hawaii. In the Florida Keys, local restaurateurs are following to see if they can do something similar.
“We are expanding our launch on the continent, we encourage anyone who wishes to bring it to their state or county to work with us to launch an effective and efficient launch,” Watkins offered.
While Watkins noted that “we have a culture and an economy that neglects our waste issues until there are dire and costly repercussions,” he also pointed out how HuiZero and other programs like this these can make a tangible difference. He said: “A lot of the people who are doing a little for sustainability are most definitely essential in tackling ocean litter and landfill issues.”
HuiZero stainless steel boxes are part of a circular economy and a dynamic of sustainable development in Hawaii. HuiZero
Tiffany Duong is a writer, explorer and motivational speaker. She graduated from UCLA and Carey Law School at the University of Pennsylvania. As a contributing journalist at EcoWatch, she gives voice to what is happening in the natural world. Its mission is to inspire meaningful action and lasting change. Follow her on Twitter / Instagram @tiffmakeswaves.
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