At VegFest Oahu events we strive to be plastic-free to minimize the pollution into our air and oceans that come from plastic waste. We have two strategies to help us achieve that. First, is requiring all our vendors to use compostable packaging for their products sold at VegFest Oahu and compostable foodware containers and utensils for all on-site dining. We have compiled a list of resources below on where to purchase compostable products and hope that all companies soon will move towards using these earth-friendly alternatives to plastic.
Compostables vs. Biodegradables — Did You Know?
“Biodegradable” products (bags, takeout containers, etc.) are diluted plastic. They can consist of 34-97% plastic, making them harmful to the environment because they break more easily into smaller pieces. So, “biodegradable” plastics are more difficult to clean up and easier for animals to mistake as food.
When it is not feasible to provide washable/reusable serviceware at your event, you can go green by providing “Certified Compostable” products identified by the label shown in the image.
Certified compostable products are 100% plant-based, making them a more sustainable choice. Even if they are thrown out with regular garbage to be burned at H-POWER, they will not pose the environmental hazards that plastics do if they escape the waste stream and end up in the ocean.
We recommend World Centric products — they have everything you need: cups, takeout boxes, plates, bento boxes, straws, etc. Their products are always 100% compostable and they donate 25% of profits to environmental causes.
AVOID products labeled with a plastic label #5 (polypropylene) such as the EarthChoice product shown in the image with a red line. These products are NOT certified compostable, even though they have a tree in the logo. They are mostly plastic with maybe a small amount of corn in it.
Suppliers of Compostable Products
A convenient retail location for World Centric products is Containerland in Mapunapuna.
666 Mapunapuna St. (map)
Honolulu, HI 96819
This shop has a great variety of compostable items and you can purchase modest quantities (like 50 or 100 cups or plates at a time). This is the new location for Diamond Head Distributors which used to be in Kalihi. They carry styrofoam and other noncompostable products too, so be sure to look for the World Centric brand or the compostable label as shown above.
These photos shows a sampling of the World Centric compostable products at Containerland:
Containterland also carries compostable sample-size cups (as small as 1 oz.), compostable tasting spoons, inexpensive and compostable pleated paper portion cups, foldable spoons by EcoTensil, and more.
You can also get World Centric products through the following distributors:
- Hansen Distributors in Pearl City (96-1282 Waihona Street, Pearl City, HI 96782 | (808) 456-3334)
- Malolo Beverages on Sand Island (120 Sand Island Access Rd, Honolulu, HI 96819 | (808) 845-4830)
- HFM Foodservice off of King St. near Middle St. (716 Umi Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819 | (808) 843-3200)
Sustainable Island Products is a distributor that is committed to true sustainability. Unlike other distributors, SIP offers exclusively compostable and reusable products. This distributor services all major Hawaiian Islands, and they will match any price. New customers receive a discount off their first purchase. (1-888-SIP-2YOU | info@1888SIP2YOU.com)
Triple F Distributing Oahu also has a line of compostable products you can ask for. Just be sure to ask for certified compostable products, not biodegradable. 98-735 Kuahao Pl, Pearl City, HI 96782 | (808) 842-9133
You should call the distributor ahead of time to make sure they have what you need.
Our second strategy to minimize pollution that comes from plastic waste is to offer a Water Refill Station provided by Kokua Hawaii Foundation with filtered water available freely to anyone with a reusable containers. This avoids the trash caused by single-use plastic water bottles while still hydrating our festival attendees.
Mahalo for being a part of VegFest Oahu and working with us as we strive to minimize our environmental footprint!