STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1413
RE: S.B. No. 348
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred S.B. No. 348, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BOTTLED WATER,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Update existing law to require bottled water to meet standards prescribed by the United States Food and Drug Administration regarding product quality standards for bottled water; and
(2) Repealing the limitation on bottled water production that prohibited the transport, storage, processing, or bottling through lines or equipment through which other food products have passed.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Sierra Club's National Marine Team, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Ball Corporation, Ko Olina Resort, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Health and Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.
Your Committee finds that plastic bottles are rarely recycled, with Americans sending 38,000,000,000 water bottles to landfills each year. Your Committee further finds that aluminum cans are recycled at approximately twice the rate as plastic bottles. Unlike plastic bottles, aluminum cans are one hundred percent recyclable, which prevents the necessity of including vast amounts of virgin aluminum in future cycles of production.
However, your Committee finds that state law prevents the efficient use of canning equipment used for carbonated soft drinks, juice, or beer for the canning of noncarbonated water. This limitation places a financial burden on beverage companies to duplicate equipment simply for noncarbonated water, which prevents them from providing an aluminum can alternative to single-use plastic water bottles.
Your Committee notes that existing health and safety precautions, such as the use of antimicrobial agents like ozone throughout the filling process, will eliminate any potential for microbiological contamination when water is filled in aluminum cans on the same lines as other beverages. This measure will eliminate the unnecessary limitation under existing law that financially prohibits the production of canned water in the State, which will support local businesses and provide a local solution to a challenging environmental problem, while also maintaining consumer safety.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 348, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 348, S.D. 1, H.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,
AARON LING JOHANSON, Chair