In partnership with local company HuiZero, Maui County’s Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division is distributing 1,000 free BYO! Utensil Kits to celebrate Earth Day. While supplies last, residents can get a kit from restaurants and food trucks participating in the HuiZero reuse program on Maui.
For a $10 deposit, customers will receive their food order in a HuiZero reusable stainless steel take-out container, along with a free BYO! Utensil Kit that contains a reusable fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, straw and a straw cleaner in a durable neoprene pouch. Customers may keep the utensil-filled pouch for countless zero-waste meals in the future and exchange the container for more take-out plate lunches at any of the participating restaurants or food trucks. HuiZero containers may be redeemed for a deposit refund or credit for a future food purchase at any time. The program stems from the new Plastic Free Maui County ordinance that bans the use or sale of single-use plastic food-ware, that went into effect on March 1.
“We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ ” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. “These BYO! Utensil Kits reduce plastic waste through reuse. Eliminating waste at the source is the simplest way to prevent plastic pollution from getting into our natural environment.”
In 2020, Maui Sustainable Solutions received a grant from the County’s Department of Environmental Protection for a feasibility study on plastic-free reusable products for take-out food. By October 2021, HuiZero co-founders Kevin Watkins of Maui Sustainable Solutions and Alexa Caskey, proprietor of the restaurant Moku Roots, launched the HuiZero program that now includes dozens of participating eateries. Their partnership with the County of Maui is in keeping with their spirit of "Zero Waste, All Aloha.”
For more information and a list of participating restaurants and food trucks, visit www.HuiZero.com. For information about Plastic Free Maui County, visit www.mauicounty.gov/plasticfree or call (808) 270-7880.