Public input sought for reusable food and drinkware system

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Hawaiʻi County, in collaboration with Zero Waste Hawai‘i Island and Perpetual, has announced a series of community design workshops that aim to gather valuable public input for the development of a sustainable, inclusive, and environmentally friendly reusable food ware system in Hilo.

These workshops will take place from Tuesday to Saturday across various locations in Hilo.

The Reusable Foodware System project, a joint initiative by Hawaiʻi County, Zero Waste Hawai‘i Island, Perpetual, and the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, is a ground-breaking endeavor supported by various grants, including a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. EPA Solid Waste Infrastructure For Recycling program awarded to Hawai’i County.

“We’re excited to work with the community to build out a one-of-a-kind reusable food ware system that will help us make Hawaiʻi Island cleaner and greener for generations to come,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Our partners have worked tirelessly to bring this initiative to our island, and we invite all to come and explore the possibilities of this new technology with us. At the end of the day, this is about protecting our ‘āina and, with it, the people of this place.” 


The workshops will provide a hands-on experience, allowing participants to borrow, use, and return a reusable cup and container while also soliciting feedback on how a reusable foodware system can be best designed to meet their requirements. The focus is on creating a system rooted in the Hawaiian values of Kanaka, ʻĀina, and Akua Connections (People, Land, and Spirit).

The workshop materials will be available in multiple languages to ensure accessibility for all community members.

Here is the schedule of the upcoming workshops:

  • Tuesday, October 24 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: Drop-in Design Workshop at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Community Connections Fair on the Library Lanai.
  • Wednesday, October 25 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: Drop-in Design Workshop at Moʻoheau Bandstand in downtown Hilo.
  • Thursday, October 26 | 10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Hawaiʻi Community College Lunch and Learn intended for students and the campus community.
  • Friday, October 27 | 1:30 – 4:00pm: Kuʻi & Kani Panaʻewa at Panaʻewa Community Center.
  • Saturday, October 28 | 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm: East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center Drop-in Design Mini Workshop as part of the Downtown Halloween festivities.

The Reusable Foodware System project has received support from grants from the Walmart Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, the Plastic Solutions Fund, and the Overbrook Foundation, which enable Perpetual and Zero Waste Hawai‘i Island to facilitate the project, provide technical expertise, and support the community-driven design process in Hilo.

This project offers a unique opportunity for Hilo to take a significant step toward reducing waste, plastic pollution, and environmental harm while creating new jobs, fostering local economic growth, and delivering a better experience for residents and visitors.

Contacts for more information:


To stay informed about the progress of this project, you can sign up for the Hilo newsletter at
For more information about the upcoming workshops, visit

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments