Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 522

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 522 entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Prohibit the purchase, use, sale, or distribution of single‑use plastic bottles, utensils, stirring sticks, polystyrene foam containers, and straws by state and county agencies after July 1, 2021, and by businesses selling food and beverages after July 1, 2022;


(2) Ban the distribution or sale of plastic bags after July 1, 2023;


(3) Ban the sale or distribution of single-use plastic beverage containers after July 1, 2025; and


(4) Establish and appropriate funds for the plastic source reduction working group to make recommendations for eliminating single-use plastic packaging.


Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management; one member of the Hawaii County Council; Keiko Conservation; Pacific Agricultural Land Management Systems; Hawaii Reef and Ocean Coalition; League of Women Voters Hawaii; Sierra Club of Hawaii; Friends of Hanauma Bay; Surfrider Foundation, Oahu Chapter; Animal Rights Hawaii; Pacific Whale Foundation; Zero Waste Oahu; Kailua Beach Adventures; Kokua Hawaii Foundation; Dolphin Quest; Kaiser High School Wipeout Crew; Delphi Cinema; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii; and numerous individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Food Industry Association; International Bottled Water Association; Plastics Industry Association; Maui Soda & Ice Works, Ltd.; Hawaii Restaurant Association; American Beverage Association; KYD, Inc. dba: K. Yamada Distributors; Retail Merchants of Hawaii; Chamber of Commerce Hawaii; and nine individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and Department of Health.


Your Committees find that the local and global impact of the world's increasing waste stream is unsustainable and detrimental to the future of Hawaii's economy and people. There has been an exponential rise in single-use foodware items, including plastic bottles, caps, lids, straws, cups, and polystyrene and plastic containers, which are major contributors to street and beach litter, ocean pollution, marine and other wildlife harm, and greenhouse gas emissions. This measure minimizes packaging and promotes alternatives derived from compostable materials, which are now widely available, to benefit the State's economy as it shifts toward a system of responsible reuse.


Your Committees have amended this measure by:


(1) Deleting language that would have prohibited individuals or businesses from distributing, selling, or providing any form of single-use plastic beverage container after July 1, 2025;


(2) Requiring the plastic source reduction working group to study and develop a systematic plan to phase out the use of single-use plastic beverage containers; and


(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 522, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 522, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Environment and Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,