Monday, February 26, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Should Honolulu Ban Biodegradable Bags?
By Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine @ 10:34 PM :: 6082 Views :: Honolulu County, Environment, Small Business

From Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine

In 2012, the Honolulu City Council passed and Mayor Carlisle subsequently approved Ordinance 12-8. This law prohibits businesses from providing single-use, non-biodegradable plastic bags and non-recyclable paper bags to their customers at the point of sale for the purpose of transporting groceries or other merchandise effective July 1, 2015.

The city’s Department of Environmental Services, responsible for implementing and enforcing the law, reported that it has been unable to identify a clear and reliable industry standard that meets the definition of “biodegradable” plastic bag in Ordinance 12-8.

The Honolulu City Council’s Committee on Public Works and Sustainability held a hearing yesterday to discuss a proposal to expand the existing ban to include biodegradable bags as they have been found to contain plastic that does not deteriorate. Similar bans were implemented throughout Mau‘i since January 11, 2011, and on Hawai‘i island since January 17, 2013.

This does not include bags used by customers inside a store to package fruits and vegetables, bags used to protect newspapers, bags to protect your dry cleaning and several other exceptions.

In the Committee on Public Works and Sustainability hearing, I expressed concern with a proposed change of the effective date from January 1, 2016 to July 1, 2015 because of the unforeseen consequences it might have on many of our businesses that purchased biodegradable bags in bulk to comply with the current ban.

The Committee deferred further action on the bill so environmental and business advocates can work together and determine a feasible date to implement the proposed full ban.

While I recognize the inherent need to protect our fragile marine ecosystems by considering this proposal to expand the existing ban on plastic bags, we must also evaluate the economic costs on businesses and on us, their consumers.

Let me know what you think about the proposal to extend the ban by calling (808) 768-5001 or send an e-mail to I look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions on Bill 38 and other legislative proposals pending before the City Council.


Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii