Plastic Bag Detrimental To Environment
The County Council of Hawaii County has adopted a Bill to regulate the use of plastic bags on the Big Island. After several attempts to regulate plastic bags, Bill 17 was finally passed on December 21st, 2011 by a vote of 5-3.
In the Bill, the Council stated that, though a convenient commodity, plastic bags have been recognized as detrimental to the environment. The Council then listed listed four reasons explaining that statement.
Almost Three Years and Three Bills
Similar legislation was actually passed by the County Council in 2008 but was vetoed by the mayor. The legislation was reworked and introduced as Bill 193, which was voted down on February 18, 2010, by a vote 0f 4-5. Then, again more rework and Bill 17 was introduced. Read: Hawaii County Council Agenda Includes Plastic Bag Ban.
The first reading of Bill 17 was on February 16, 2011 and was passed. The County Council held several public hearings on Bill 17 throughout the summer and into the fall of 2011. Here is an article that was opposed to Bill 17 and listed the public hearing dates (Hawaii County Public Hearings On Proposed Plastic Bag Ban).
Bill 17's adoption date is December 30, 2011. Businesses have one year to make plastic checkout bags available for purchase. After one year, businesses shall not provide plastic checkout bags to their customers. The Bill defines "business" as any commercial enterprise or establishment. The ordinance addresses only plastic shopping bags distributed to customers at checkout for the purpose of transporting groceries or other retail goods.
3 of 4 Counties Ban Plastic Bag
Hawaii County is the third county in Hawaii to ban plastic bags, after Maui and Kauai, leaving only Honolulu County without a ban.
Read Bill 17
Credits: Photo is Aerial photo of Hilo Bay, Hawaii. Photo by Kanoa Withington - Feb 16, 2006