Executive Director’s Message: Let’s Talk Litter

The first quarter of every year comes a number of things, one of which is the Legislative Session. This year we see many of the same issues coming to light; Labor related issues, Health care issues, Litter initiatives amongst many others. The challenge during this period is deciding what issues will truly be of benefit without placing more burden on the businesses. The food service industry is constantly barraged by issues that continue to increase the cost of doing business. There is a misconception by some that the Restaurant business is a license to print money. I can tell you first hand that is not the case. Every month operators struggle to make a 3 to 6 percent margin at best. More likely needing to add money to cover the expenses.

We could go on all day about the intricacies of ALL the proposed bills, but for this article, let’s talk LITTER.

This may sound condescending, but where does litter come from?….Trash. And where is the trash? Typically in inadequate trash receptacles at our beaches and parks. Litter is not litter until it leaves the trash receptacles. So why don’t we focus on controlling our trash rather than banning products that we think are creating litter. Products don’t create litter, lack of proper trash cans does.

If you replace one item for another and it ends up on our beaches or in our ocean, is it not litter? Of course it is. Maybe it could be considered a better litter? Is that our goal? Better litter? NO. So let’s take all of this energy and focus on the root of the problem. LET’S KEEP OUR TRASH FROM BECOMING LITTER. No one disagrees with a more environmentally friendly World, everyone is one board. But we can’t just ban products in hopes that it will solve another major issue and at the same time, put undue financial stress on the restaurant operators.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association is working closely with other groups and initiatives like MALAMA 808  and we’re willing to partner with all to address the root cause of the problem.

Please visit www.hawaiirestaurant.org or www.malama808.org for information or contact us at 808-944-9105.

We look forward to supporting the entire food service industry for many years to come.

 

Mahalo,

Gregg Fraser

Executive Director

Hawaii Restaurant Association

 

For more information contact: HRA Office 808-944-9105   info@hawaiirestaurant.org

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