Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 522

       S.D. 2




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 522, S.D. 1, 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 plastic beverage 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; and


     (3)  Create 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 one member of the Hawai‘i County Council, Animal Rights Hawai‘i, Organizing for Action, Friends of Hanauma Bay, Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Reef and Ocean Coalition, No Single Use Hawaii, Zero Waste O‘ahu, O‘ahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Kahili Adventist School, Surfrider Foundation, Wipeout Crew, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, and eighty-one individuals.  Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from Pho Tri Restaurant; Cooke Street Diner; LoCo MoCo Drive Inn—Ewa Beach; Island Plastic Bags Inc.; Hawaii Restaurant Association; Hawaii Food Industry Association; Papa's Cafe; Nabeya Maido; Shiro's Saimin Haven; American Beverage Association; American Chemistry Council; Hibachi; Queen Street Cafe & Grill; HNA FOOD SERVICES LLC; Jets Fast Food; Tatsuos; Stadium Pho; Retail Merchants of Hawaii; Pancakes & Waffles BLD Hawaii; Hale Inu Sports Bar; Chamber of Commerce Hawaii; KYD, Inc. dba:  K. Yamada Distributors; and six 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 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 disposable food ware and packaging, including plastic bottles, caps, lids, straws, cups, and polystyrene and plastic containers, which are major contributors to street and beach litter, ocean pollution, wildlife harm, and greenhouse gas emissions.


     Your Committees further find that cleaning up plastic is a significant cost to Hawaii taxpayers.  The cost of cleanups by government agencies, businesses, and the general public is rising to account for expensive best management practices and mitigation, as well as the tremendous increase in plastic litter.  The Department of Transportation produced a trash management plan that shows that polystyrene foam and plastic bags are the top two contributors to the local waste stream and must be regularly removed from storm drains at a cost to the Department and taxpayers.


     Your Committees also find that prohibiting the purchase, use, sale, or distribution of plastic beverage bottles, utensils, stirring sticks, polystyrene foam containers, and straws by state and county agencies, and gradually extending this ban to other entities, is in the environmental, financial, and public welfare interests of the State.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by inserting an effective date of March 15, 2050, to encourage further discussion.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 522, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 522, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means,