Maui Premiere of 'A Plastic Ocean'

discussion panelThank you to everyone who attended the Maui premiere of A Plastic Ocean. The discussion following the film was extremely well received and productive. Many of the answers from our panel of experts included references to great programs and contacts so we have summarized much of that information here. We hope to continue the conversation and encourage action through education. Please email with any questions on how you can help to reduce the amount of marine debris entering the ocean. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we will do our best to direct you to someone who does.

A Plastic Ocean is available on Netflix

To schedule a classroom lesson on the impacts of marine debris, presented by Pacific Whale Foundation followed by a beach cleanup, email

Maui Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program

Pick up your free beach clean-up kit (gloves, recycled bag, datasheet), head down to your favorite Maui beach, and start collecting that rubbish. You'll help protect wildlife by preventing harmful waste from entering the ocean. And everyone will appreciate your efforts to keep Maui's beaches beautiful. 

The data you collect will become part of our ongoing coastal marine debris monitoring program. Since 2013, over 200 members of the public have been involved in the project, and the removal of over 14,000 pieces of debris has been documented. The database will be used to identify trends in marine debris types and locations over time.

This opportunity is completely open to the public and no specific skills are required. Simply stop by our office between 6am-6pm to pick-up your kit from Pacific Whale Foundation (Address: 300 Ma'alaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793). A free tote bag will be awarded upon the return of your completed data sheet. Thank you so much for your help!

For hard copy Recycling, Refuse and Landfill Guide or any questions on recycling in Maui County, contact:

Recycling Hotline 808-270-7880

from Molokai 800-272-0117 x 7880

and Lanai 800-272-0125 x 7880



Landfill Information

Recycling Services and Information

Residential Recycling Program

Maui County Recycling Guide


Report illegal dumping. Illegal dumping is unsightly and may be dangerous to public health and safety. Report it to the Maui Police Department, (808) 244-6400, or to the State of Hawaii Department of Health at (808) 984-8230.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program and its partners offer free, downloadable education and outreach materials for people of all ages to learn about marine debris. Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness about the problem, including educators, parents, friends, youth leaders, non-profits, corporations, and industry.

Spread the word with brochures, curriculum, and more, and help keep the sea free of debris!


To access:

  • Activities and Curricula
  • Reports and Technical Memos
  • Fact Sheets
  • Posters and Brochures
  • TRASH TALK (Webinar for educators and special feature)

A reminder of the 11 Things YOU Can Do to Help

  1. Say no to single use plastics
  2. Don’t use plastic drinking straws – carry a reusable straw or go without
  3. Carry reusable shopping bags
  4. Drink tap water
  5. Don’t use body scrubs that contain beads, make your own!
  6. Use a refillable water bottle/coffee mug
  7. Bring your own containers for takeaway
  8. Don’t use balloons – they often end up in the ocean!
  9. Buy in bulk and/or shop for products with less packaging
  10. Use glass Tupperware instead of plastic
  11. Clean up garbage at the beach (we have kits you can take home)

For more information on the Plastic Ocean movement, visit

Pacific Whale Foundation has been studying marine debris since 2013 and their efforts have seen the removal and documentation of over 50,000 debris items to date. In 2016, Pacific Whale Foundation was awarded a grant by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program to develop a public awareness campaign to educate the community on marine debris issues, specifically with respect to tobacco litter on Maui's beaches. The grant arose from Pacific Whale Foundation's marine debris research, which found the "tobacco-free beaches and parks policy" passed in 2014 had little immediate impact on the amount of tobacco-related debris found on Maui's beaches.

Proceeds from the screening will help to Pacific Whale Foundation's ongoing marine debris research and removal efforts. This includes:

  • Assessing the potential risks that marine debris poses to cetaceans
  • Determining the distribution and accumulation of marine debris in the Maui 4-island region
  • Cataloging debris items found along Maui's south coast
  • Citizen scientist led 'Maui Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring Program'
  • Comparing polymer types of land and ocean based debris in the Maui 4-island region (a collaborative project with researchers at NIST)

Pacific Whale Foundation's most recent publications on marine debris can be found here:

  • 2017: Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui. Marine Pollution Bulletin View Here
  • 2016: Trends and drivers of debris accumulation on Maui shorelines: Implications for local mitigation strategies. Marine Pollution Bulletin View Here

Plastic Oceans