THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1527

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the environment.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that plastic ring bindings have been harming marine environment and wildlife for decades. In 2014, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association removed fifty-seven tons of marine debris from the Hawaiian Islands. Almost forty per cent of the Hawaiian humpback whales migrating to Hawaii each winter have been entangled at least once. Additionally, six out of seven species of sea turtles are classified as threatened or endangered due to marine entanglement.

The legislature also finds that while there have been advances made in the past to reduce the plastic ring problem, the lack of visible improvement demonstrates the need for a new solution. In 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency began requiring that plastic ring carriers for beverage cans be made of degradable material that degrades quickly and does not pose a greater threat to the environment than non-degradable materials. However, current plastic rings either take up to thousands of years to degrade or do not degrade completely unless exposed to direct sunlight. Some companies have tried replacing six-pack rings with biodegradable holders in an effort to reduce plastic waste annually by 1,200 metric tons. While there are many possible ways to eliminate the percentage of plastic caused by plastic rings in the ocean, none of them are currently being widely implemented in Hawaii. A ban on six-pack rings will make the ocean a safer place for wildlife to live, given that these rings cause entanglement and deformation in marine life.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to ban plastic six-pack rings to decrease the number of plastic pollutants in water and in natural habitats of wild species.

SECTION 2. Chapter 339, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"339-   Beverage containers; plastic connecting devices; prohibited. (a) No person shall sell or offer for sale to any consumer within the State beverage containers connected to each other with plastic connecting devices.

(b) Notwithstanding section 339-24 to the contrary, any person who violates this section shall be fined $10,000 for each separate offense. Each month of each violation shall constitute a separate offense. Any action taken to impose or collect the penalty provided for in this section shall be considered a civil action. Fines collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the conservation and resources enforcement special fund established pursuant to section 199-1.5."

SECTION 3. Section 339-22, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) No person shall sell or offer for sale to any consumer within the State [beverage containers,] motor oil[,] or other consumer goods connected to each other with plastic connecting devices that are not degradable. This section shall not apply to the following plastic connecting devices:

(1) Plastic connecting devices that contain an enclosed hole or circle less than 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter; and

(2) Plastic connecting devices comprised of one or more rings that are broken when the [beverage container or other] consumer good is removed from the ring or rings."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2023.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Environment; Litter; Plastic Beverage Rings; Prohibition

 

Description:

Bans the sale of beverage containers connected to each other with plastic connecting devices. Establishes fines. Takes effect 1/1/2023.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.