Local businesses use eco-friendly foodware to serve food

Luzia Maia
Luzia Maia
Michael Elhoff
Michael Elhoff

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - When you're chowing down on a plate lunch, you're probably not wondering where the Styrofoam plate will end up.

But now, there's an eco-friendly way to enjoy take-out.

Mocha Java Café in Ward is just one of a growing number of local businesses serving up drinks and plates of food in bio-degradable ware.

"We're almost 100% right now just running out of stock," said Luzia Maia, owner of Mocha Java Cafe.

The eco-friendly foodware is called Styrophobia.

They contain no harmful or toxic materials -- found in Styrofoam and plastic.

Instead they're made from corn starch and sugar cane fiber -- and are 100% compostable.

The idea to bring styrophobia to Hawaii came to Mike Elhoff after San Francisco banned the use of Styrofoam and plastic bags.

"We're using them as a model and we know they can do it," said Elhoff.  "And at the same time San Franciso is diverting up to 70% of their landfills to biodegradable's to landfills and recycling."

Elhoff says ,where as -- Styrofoam sits in our landfill leeching toxic chemicals into the soil, "styrophobia" biodegrades in up to 90 days.

And since it's au naturale, you can even bury it with the rest of your compost in your back yard.

You can't really tell the difference between a styrophobia cup and a plastic cup. They both look and feel the same. And even though this is made out of corn. You can't tell.

The local company's also pushing bio-bags for dogs, in hopes animal lovers and people who love plate-lunches will use these green products to create a greener Hawaii.

"Ultimately it's about this," said Elhoff.  "It's about changing our habits taking more responsibility for what we do in the day."

It costs an extra 25-cents to carry the styrophobia products.

So far, almost 100 local businesses, schools and colleges have made the switch.