Plastic Free Hawai’i
Plastic Free Hawai’i is a coalition of community members and business owners that strives to educate the stores, schools restaurants, residents and visitors of Hawai’i on the environmental and health benefits of going plastic free in order to minimize the consumption and pollution of plastics in our islands.
Plastic Free Hawaii Goals:
1. To minimize the consumption of single-use plastics. Single use items include plastic bags, food take-out containers, styrofoam, plastic utensils, water bottles, etc.
2. To promote the human and environmental health benefits of going plastic free.
3. To provide a list of cost effective alternatives to single-use plastics: including re-usable bags and bottles, compostable bags and food wares.
4. To support and assist local government in passing plastic free legislation.
5. To keep the campaign tone positive and looking towards a healthier future, rewarding those that participate without condemning those that do not.
We appreciate your help in spreading the Plastic Free message. Here are five things you can do to support Plastic Free Hawai’i:
1. Make your Plastic Free Commitments and become a Coalition member today!
2. Support Plastic Free Businesses or become a business member.
3. Stay connected! Sign up for our Plastic Free mailing list. Join the Plastic Free Hawai’i groups on Facebook, Twitter, Kanu Hawai’i and Green Hawaii.
4. Spread the word with your family, friends and community! Share the Plastic Free Widget.
5. Learn more about the plastic issue and what you can do to make a difference.
Plastic Free Hawai’i began as the Plastic Free Hale’iwa Coalition at the end of 2007 when the Kokua Hawai’i Foundation, together with two concerned business owners, Lee Roy of Growing Keiki and Kelly Tsutsui of Food For Thought, decided to address the issue of single use plastics in the little beach town of Hale’iwa on the North Shore of Oahu. Inspired to preserve and protect our island home, the vision and goals of Plastic Free Hale’iwa were created to ultimately eliminate single-use plastics in our community.
The Coalition is founded on a strong sense of community pride, teamwork and positive reinforcement. There were numerous early supporters of the Plastic Free Hale’iwa endeavor including the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and local councilman, Donavon de la Cruz. To launch the campaign, community coordinators went door-to-door educating business owners on the issues of single use plastics, providing plastic free sources, and sharing proven strategies that cover costs and insure positive results.
To develop a campaign with curb appeal, we called upon Hale’iwa-based artist, Heather Brown, to create the eye catching and popular Plastic Free Hale’iwa logo. The logo first made its’ appearance on the Plastic Free Hale’iwa reusable bags at the coalition launch in January 2008. At a North Shore Chamber of Commerce meeting, over 37 local businesses joined the Coalition and took the pledge to minimize and eventually eliminate single use plastics in their establishments. They each received 20 free bags and a Plastic Free Hale’iwa window cling to proudly display in their window. These bags became extremely popular with locals and tourists alike and coalition members watched as the bags flew off the shelves.
In July of 2008, the Kokua Hawai’i Foundation partnered with Kanu Hawai’i to launch the Plastic Free Commitment campaign as a way to elicit consumer activism. Five plastic free commitments were crafted to allow individuals to pledge their support of the plastic free message. Commitment cards and collection boxes were placed in Coalition member businesses to further educate and engage customers. In 2009 a Plastic Free webpage and widget were added to tally the Plastic Free supporters, their commitments and measures our collective impacts.
Also early in 2009 the Coalition introduced the Plastic Free Haleiwa stainless steel water bottles. These water bottles encourage people to break their single use water bottle habit and switch to reusables. Again, the water bottles became a huge hit from school kids to visitors. Both the bags and bottles are available for sale online at the Kokua Hawai’i Foundation store and in Hale’iwa at several of our Plastic Free Hale’iwa businesses.
Currently the Plastic Free Hale’iwa Coalition includes over 50 Hale’iwa business members and hundreds of community supporters in the movement to minimize single use plastics. These loyal partners have been making great strides in becoming plastic free and have raised the bar for sustainable business practices in one little beach town.
Please join us in this effort. By working together we can make a difference for our neighborhood, island and world.
We encourage you to sign up for our Plastic Free mailing list to receive our Plastic Free updates via email.