Report Title:

Environmental Protection; Plastic Carryout Bag Recycling Program



Requires certain retailers in the state to implement an at-store plastic carryout bag recycling program. (HB2434 HD1)



H.B. NO.



H.D. 1
















SECTION 1. The legislature finds that plastic bags that are not recycled present a hazard to the natural environment. There are, however, plastic bags provided by retailers, dry cleaners, and other businesses that are 100 per cent recyclable. While there exists a mechanism to divert plastic bags from landfills and recycle them into parking-lot bumpers, plastic lumber products, and more plastic bags, such a mechanism is currently underused.

The legislature further finds that the state has an interest in protecting its natural environment and decreasing the amount of recyclable plastic bags flowing into its landfills. The State needs to demonstrate a reduction of plastic bags imported into the state, an increased recycling of plastic bags, and a decrease in litter.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Encourage the use of reusable tote bags by consumers;

(2) Facilitate and support the recycling of plastic bags by both businesses and consumers; and

(3) Partner with business and government to educate and inform the general public to effect the necessary behavioral changes to sustain responsible activity.

SECTION 2. Chapter 342H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


342H-A Definitions. As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Operator" means a person in control of, or having daily responsibility for, the daily operation of a store, which may include the owner of the store.

"Plastic carryout bag" means a plastic carryout bag that is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale.

"Reusable bag" means either:

(1) A bag made of cloth or other machine-washable fabric that has handles; or

(2) A durable plastic bag with handles that is at least 2.25 millimeters thick and is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse.

"Store" means a retail establishment that provides plastic carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product and meets either of the following requirements:

(1) Has over ten thousand square feet of retail space and has a licensed pharmacy; or

(2) Is a full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of $2,000,000 or more and which sells a line of dry groceries, canned goods, nonfood items, and perishable goods.

342H-B At-store recycling program; establishment; requirements. (a) The operator of a store shall establish an at-store recycling program pursuant to this chapter that provides an opportunity for a customer of the store to return clean plastic carryout bags to the store.

(b) A retail establishment that does not meet the definition of a store and that provides plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale may also adopt an at-store recycling program as specified in this chapter.

(c) An at-store recycling program provided by the operator of a store shall include all of the following:

(1) A plastic carryout bag provided by the store shall have printed or displayed on the bag, in a manner visible to a consumer, the words "PLEASE RETURN TO A PARTICIPATING STORE FOR RECYCLING";

(2) A plastic carryout bag collection bin shall be placed at each store and shall be visible, easily accessible to the consumer, and clearly marked that the collection bin is available for the purpose of collecting and recycling plastic carryout bags;

(3) The store shall maintain records describing the collection, transport, and recycling of plastic carryout bags collected for a minimum of three years and shall make the records available to the director, upon request, to demonstrate compliance with this chapter; and

(4) The operator of the store shall make reusable bags available to customers within the store, which may be purchased and used in lieu of using a plastic carryout bag or paper bag. This paragraph shall not apply to a retail establishment described in section 342H-B(b).

342H-C Conflict with other laws. (a) Unless expressly authorized by this part, a county or other public agency shall not adopt, implement, or enforce any ordinance, resolution, regulation, or rule that:

(1) Requires a store that is in compliance with this chapter to collect, transport, or recycle plastic carryout bags;

(2) Imposes a plastic carryout bag fee upon a store that is in compliance with this chapter; or

(3) Requires auditing or reporting requirements that are in addition to what is required by section 342H-B(c)(3), upon a store that is in compliance with this chapter.

(b) This section shall not prohibit the adoption, implementation, or enforcement of any local ordinance, resolution, regulation, or rule governing curbside or drop off recycling programs operated by, or pursuant to a contract with, a county or other public agency, including any action relating to fees for these programs.

(c) This section shall not affect any contract, franchise, permit, license, or other arrangement regarding the collection or recycling of solid waste or household hazardous waste.

342H-D Rules. The director may adopt rules under chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this part.

342H-E Administrative penalties. In addition to any other civil or judicial remedy provided by this part or by rules adopted under this part, the director is authorized to impose by order the following administrative penalties:

(1) For a first violation, a fine of not more than $100;

(2) For a second violation within one year, a fine of not more than $200; and

(3) For a third or subsequent violation within one year, a fine of not more than $500.

342H-F Injunctive and other relief. The director may institute a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive and other relief to prevent any violation of this part or any rule adopted pursuant to this part, to collect administrative penalties, or to obtain other relief. The court shall have power to grant relief in accordance with the Hawaii rules of civil procedure."

SECTION 3. The department of health, in cooperation with but not limited to the Retail Merchants Association, Hawaii Food Industry Association, and the counties, shall submit a report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2010, on the progress and effectiveness of the plastic carryout bag recycling program, including recommendations for legislation.

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 5. Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted or applied so as to create any requirement, power, or duty in conflict with any federal or state law.

SECTION 6. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2009.