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Thursday, November 03, 2011
Big Island Residents Push Back Against Plastic Bag Ban
By News Release @ 9:32 PM :: 4592 Views :: Hawaii County , Akaka Bill


The attempt by certain County Councilmen to ban plastic bags has not gone away.

Wide-spread community opposition is gathering strength, however, as the letter below from the Chamber of Commerce indicates.

Our position as conservatives is that this bag ban law is another unwarranted micro-management of our lives that should not be the purview of our elected officials.

We feel all the arguments by the progressive activists pushing this are all wrong, and the net effect would actually be harmful.

  • We feel that litter is a behavioral problem, not an item problem. We can no more suppress it by this ban than we could suppress car accidents by banning just Toyotas.
  • Plastic bags will be replaced by paper, which is less environmentally kind than plastic, takes even more landfill room, and actually introduces more carbon into the air than plastic bag production and use.
  • Plastic bags do NOT contribute any significant content to the vast mass of sea-borne plastic debris.
  • NO scientific studies show plastic bags are a significant harm to wildlife. None. Only a very few, rare, isolated and over-hyped photos contradict this, not any real science.
  • Plastic bags will be replaced by paper, or re-usable bags, which are much less useful for the full spectrum that bags are currently used for (transparent, cheap, light, and water-proof)
  • Paper bags will be more expensive than plastic, costs that the poorest among us can afford the least.
  • Our government should be making life easier and cheaper, not harder and more expensive.
  • These sorts of details of daily life are for individuals to decide, NOT the nanny-state government. Personal liberty is again lessened by this ban.

Time to take a stand and STOP this sort of bad government behavior. If not, they will just continue and repeat this again and again. It started with light bulbs and low-flow toilets and shower heads, and many more items. Next up: banning all Styrofoam.

Your help is needed!

Councilmen Blas, Smart, Hoffman and Ford are all in favor of the ban.

Councilmen Onishi, Yoshimoto and Ikeda are all against the ban

Smart, Hoffman and Ford are committed progressives, who WANT to micro-manage everyone's lives, and feel it is the purpose of government to do so.

Blas has gone against all the conservative principles that he claimed to possess when we evaluated him pre-election, and this is just the latest example. It is clear he was not honest with us about his approach to government, does not care about saving tax payers additional expense (bond issues), nor on personal liberty issues nor on making our lives less costly and easier. Despite the fact that his district (Puna) has the highest poverty rate on the island, he will vote for this ban and so raise the cost of living for all his constituents anyway. He just doesn't care about that.

Yagong opposes this bag ban for all the reasons we have listed, but as the company he works for uses bags in their business, he feels voting would be a conflict of interest in this case, and so will not cast a vote.

Pilago has voted for the ban previously, but may be persuaded by the logic of the arguments against it to change his vote.


From Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce


Dear Members, Nov 2, 2011

The Chamber is often asked to provide testimony on various issues of concern to businesses. The Plastic Bag Ban is an issue of concern to businesses and individuals. The Chamber’s policy statement with respect to the Plastic Bag Ban is as follows:

Plastic Bag Ban: We support free choice for consumers and businesses. To the extent plastic bags being improperly disposed is an issue, we support the enforcement of laws prohibiting illegal dumping and litter. We support recycling.

This issue is coming before the County Council again. The Council is taking testimony ahead of its November 15, 2011. The Chamber is encouraging a letter writing campaign for testimonies at the next public hearing in Kona on November 15th. You can submit your testimonies;

  • By facsimile (fax): (808) 961‐8912.
  • By email:
  • Address testimonies to Dominic Yagong, Chairperson and Members of the Hawai‘i County Council

Please send in your letters and the letters of your colleagues and like-minded community members by noon on November 14th – for the Kona public hearing.


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