HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
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 Hawaii does not have a sustainable solid waste management system. Most waste created in the State is landfilled or incinerated, which represents a linear waste stream, is costly, and creates pollution that is harmful to the health of the environment and to the residents of the State. Landfills discharge leachate, a contaminated and often highly toxic fluid, which has the potential for leakage that can harm groundwater, surrounding communities, and the nearshore and marine resources downslope. On Oahu, the landfill produces around nine thousand eight hundred gallons of leachate per day, where the potential for leakage of leachate threatens Oahu's drinking water supply. Waste that is incinerated can be used to produce energy, but this process still produces air pollutants, greenhouse gases, and toxic ash, as more than four hundred tons of toxic ash from H-Power are buried in the landfill every day.
A linear waste management system is characterized by a take-make-dispose model, where virgin resources are extracted and goods are produced and then discarded, leading to waste production and the depletion of resources. In a linear economy, taxpayers and their local government bear the costs associated with waste management. In contrast, a circular economy is designed to keep resources in use for as long as possible, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. A circular economy prioritizes waste reduction and creates a closed-loop system where producers are accountable for the cost of disposal of their products, creating market-based incentives for waste reduction and product redesign that reduces waste at the source and facilitates reuse, composting, and recycling.
A zero-waste initiative in Hawaii would elevate these circular economy principles and put them at the center of the State's waste management strategies, broadly redirecting state agencies tasked with overseeing solid waste management to prioritize source reduction, reuse, refill, and composting and to improve the availability of recycling services for waste that cannot be avoided, reused, or composted. The adoption of a zero-waste initiative would lead the shift away from the linear waste system and toward a circular economy that is more sustainable, will create green jobs, and will reduce costs for waste management borne by taxpayers. It would also address environmental and public health concerns posed by Hawaii's overflowing landfills. As a remote island state reliant on tourism, extended producer responsibility is an essential component of a circular economy, as it places shared responsibility for a product's lifecycle, including end-of-life management, onto the producers of the product. This encourages more sustainable product design that leads to less waste and more reusable and fully recyclable products.
Extended producer responsibility programs can exist for almost any product type. There are existing programs in other jurisdictions that cover a range of products including carpets, large appliances, e-waste, packaging waste, prescription drugs, batteries, paint, pesticides, tires, photovoltaic panels, used motor oil, and mattresses. Under these programs, producers are responsible for ensuring that services are available to reclaim and recycle products when they reach the end of their useful life. Countless tons of waste and virgin resources are avoided when these programs are implemented. Additionally, extended producer responsibility programs for packaging waste exist in Europe and Canada and in recent years have been adopted in California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon, and proposed in many other state legislatures.
The goal of this Act is to lay the foundation for the creation of a sustainable future for Hawaii and its residents by reducing waste, minimizing resource inputs, and promoting a closed-loop system that will benefit the environment and the economy.
The purpose of this Act is to protect the environment and reduce costs to taxpayers by establishing a zero waste initiative and packaging waste reduction and reuse program, with participation and funding from large producers of consumer packaged goods. The program shall be developed through:
(1) An implementation plan that:
(A) Requires the department of health, with the assistance from each county, to develop an assessment of statewide needs to determine resources required to reduce packaging waste by seventy per cent from the baseline amount, with priority on waste prevention through eliminating unnecessary packaging and switching to reusable packaging systems;
(B) Establishes an advisory council composed of relevant stakeholders that will advise the department of health on how to structure a producer-funded packaging reduction and reuse program; and
(C) Requires the department of health to develop the packaging waste reduction and reuse program; and
(2) A packing waste reduction and reuse plan and program that:
(A) Develops a packaging waste reduction and reuse program implementation plan by December 31, 2026, including decisions on producer funding after public process; and
(B) Beginning July 1, 2027, implements a packaging waste reduction and reuse plan funded in whole or in part by producers.
SECTION 2. Chapter 342G, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"Part . zero waste initiative and packaging reduction and reuse program
§342G-A Definitions. Whenever used in this part, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
"Advisory council" means the packaging waste advisory council established pursuant to section 342G-C.
"Baseline amount" means the weight and number of items of packaging waste each county determines was sent to its landfills, a power plant that burns municipal solid waste as a fuel, or both, during calendar year 2024.
"Brand" means a name, symbol, word, or mark that identifies a product, rather than its components, and attributes the product to the owner of the brand.
"Consumer packaged goods" means a product that is sold quickly and at a relatively low cost, such as prepared food and beverages in food service, packaged foods, non-deposit beverages, household cleaning products, toiletries, personal care products, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, pet supplies, and other products, as determined by the department upon considering the recommendations of the advisory council.
"Covered producer" means a packaging producer selling a large amount of consumer packaged goods in the State, as determined by the department upon considering the recommendations of the advisory council, but shall not include producers of low or medium amounts as defined by rule by the department.
"Packaging reduction" means the reduction of the weight and number of items of packaging used to provide products for consumption.
"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, association, public or private corporation, limited liability company, not-for-profit organization, public benefit corporation, public authority, federal agency, the State or any of its political subdivisions, trust, estate, or any other legal entity.
"Producer", with respect to packaging material, means:
(1) Any person, except for the State or any of its political subdivisions, that manufactures or uses in a commercial enterprise, sells, offers for sale, or distributes the packaging material in the State under the brand of the manufacturer;
(2) An entity that is not the manufacturer of the packaging material but is the owner or licensee of a trademark under which the covered product is used in commercial enterprise, sold, offered for sale, or distributed in the State, whether or not the trademark is registered; or
(3) An entity that imports the packaging material into the United States or the State for use in a commercial enterprise, sale, offer for sale, or distribution in the State.
"Returnable" means that a product can be conveniently returned after use to a reuse or return system.
"Reusable packaging" means a product or packaging that is:
(1) Reusable, refillable, or returnable;
(3) Safe for washing and sanitizing according to applicable state food safety laws; and
(4) Part of a system that achieves multiple cycles of use, equitable access, and reduce waste.
"Reuse and refill" means the return of packaging back into the economic stream for use in the same kind of application intended for the original packaging, without changing the original composition or purpose of the product or the components thereof.
"Zero waste" means the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.
§342G-B Hawaii zero waste initiative. (a) There is established within the department a Hawaii zero waste initiative with the goal of sending zero waste to the landfill or to incineration.
(b) The department shall, by rule, establish dates and interim goals under the Hawaii zero waste initiative by which the State shall achieve a twenty-five per cent, fifty per cent, and seventy-five per cent reduction in the amount of waste going to the landfill or incineration.
(c) Under the Hawaii zero waste initiative, the department shall:
(1) Facilitate a transition from a linear economy to a circular economy;
(2) Establish policies and programs that reduce waste and consumption and maximize reuse, refill, composting, and recycling;
(3) Seek to reduce the amount of toxic and hazardous waste that is imported into the State and poses a risk to air quality, water quality, and groundwater resources and otherwise creates dangerous pollution when used or disposed of;
(4) Where feasible, seek market-based solutions that internalize the external costs to producers that have been borne by taxpayers in the past, beginning with considering programs for products that have successful extended producer responsibility programs in other jurisdictions, including but not limited to carpets, large appliances, electronic waste, packaging waste, prescription drugs, batteries, paint, pesticides, tires, photovoltaic panels, used motor oil, and mattresses;
(5) Seek to learn from policies implemented in other jurisdictions, while also considering the State's unique needs and the needs of each county;
(6) Work with other state agencies, counties, and the private sector to implement the Hawaii zero waste initiative;
(7) Conduct public outreach and education statewide about the Hawaii zero waste initiative; and
(8) Provide an annual report to the legislature on the progress and implementation of the Hawaii zero waste initiative.
§342G-C Packaging waste advisory council; duties; established. (a) On or before January 1, 2025, the department shall establish a packaging waste advisory council, which shall advise the department on the needs assessment pursuant to section 342G-D and packaging waste reduction and reuse plan pursuant to section 342G-F.
(b) The advisory council shall:
(1) Provide recommendations to the department on how best to achieve a seventy per cent reduction in packaging waste sent to landfills or incinerated;
(2) Advise the department in the development of a producer-funded packaging waste reduction and reuse program that addresses the following:
(A) The types of materials being used for packaging by product, products eligible for reuse and refill, and products targeted for waste reduction and diversion;
(B) The costs to transition to systems that reduce waste or encourage reusable packaging and the portion of those costs that will be covered by producers;
(C) The programs and infrastructure that are needed in Hawaii to divert packaging waste from landfilling and incineration and the costs of developing and running those waste diversion programs;
(D) The needs and costs to improve Hawaii's packaging materials collection systems and sorting and processing facilities, including the portion of the costs that will be covered by producers;
(E) The size of producers to be included as covered producers engaged in the packaging waste reduction and reuse program;
(F) The metrics that should be utilized to determine the amount of fees collected from producers;
(G) The metrics that should be used to determine the baseline amount of packaging generated by each producer and for subsequent reporting, noting that weight alone shall not be considered a sufficient metric since transitioning to single-use plastic to meet the requirements of reduction is not considered acceptable;
(H) The covered products to include in the packaging waste reduction and reuse program;
(I) The packaging material requirements that producers shall follow and the timeline for meeting such requirements;
(J) The state and county staffing needs to support the packaging waste reduction and reuse program;
(K) The administrator of the packaging waste reduction and reuse program; and
(L) Viable alternative packaging solutions for locally made and imported products;
(3) For non-ex-officio members only, be subject to section 26-34; and
(4) Perform any relevant analysis and make appropriate recommendations for the legislature, department, counties, and other stakeholders in developing criteria for reuse and refill programs.
The advisory council's recommendations shall include how to transition each county to develop and integrate new programming, or expand existing programming, to achieve the goals of the packaging waste reduction and reuse program to be developed and implemented pursuant to section 342G-F.
(c) The advisory council shall consist of the following members:
(1) The director of health or the director's designee, who shall serve as the chair of the advisory council;
(2) The chairs of the standing committees in the senate and the house of representatives with primary subject matter jurisdiction over the environment or the chairs' designees;
(3) A representative from the city and county of Honolulu department of environmental services with experience in sustainable waste management;
(4) A representative from the county of Maui department of environmental management with experience in sustainable waste management;
(5) A representative from the county of Kauai department of public works with experience in sustainable waste management;
(6) A representative from the county of Hawaii department of environmental management with experience in sustainable waste management;
(7) One representative of a community organization in each of the four counties that has focused on packaging waste reduction, nominated by the chair;
(8) One expert in governmental activities regarding programs to achieve packaging waste reduction nationally and internationally, selected by the chair;
(9) Three representatives of large producers of packaging waste from consumer packaging goods in Hawaii, nominated by the chair;
(10) One representative from a Hawaii small business that manufactures products in the State, nominated by the chair;
(11) Two national experts in reusable packaging who are not affiliated with any packaging producers in Hawaii, nominated by the chair; and
(12) Two representatives from recycling and waste hauling businesses working in Hawaii, nominated by the chair.
(d) The members of the advisory council shall serve for two-year terms and may be reappointed by the chair. The members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed by the department for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties.
(e) The chair shall determine how often the advisory council shall meet. The council meetings shall be open to the public and are subject to chapter 92. The department shall provide administrative support to the advisory council. The department may hire a facilitator to administer the advisory council.
§342G-D Needs assessment. (a) The department, with assistance from each county and advice and input from the advisory council, shall develop a statewide needs assessment, which shall detail the resources needed to reduce packaging waste from each respective county's baseline amount by seventy per cent by 2030; provided that for a county with a population greater than five hundred thousand:
(1) The needs assessment shall detail the resources needed to reduce the county's packaging waste that the county sends to a landfill or to a power plant that burns municipal solid waste as a fuel; and
(2) The county shall categorize its resource needs by method of packaging waste disposal.
(b) The department shall compile the needs assessments and consolidate them along with any recommendations made by the counties and work with the advisory council to develop an implementation plan as described in section 342G-F; provided that priority shall be given to packaging reuse and refill programs.
§342G-E Packaging waste special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury the packaging waste special fund into which shall be deposited:
(1) All fees, payments, and penalties collected by the department pursuant to this part;
(2) Any appropriation by the legislature into the special fund;
(3) Any grant or donation made to the special fund; and
(4) Any interest earned on the balance of the special fund.
(b) The packaging waste special fund shall be administered by the department.
§342G-F Packaging waste reduction and reuse plan and program; implementation. (a) The department shall develop a producer-funded waste reduction and reuse plan to implement a packaging waste reduction and reuse program to achieve the goal of a seventy per cent reduction of the amount of packaging waste deposited in landfills or incinerated in the State by 2030. The plan shall:
(1) Identify covered producers and covered products;
(2) How fees shall be set;
(3) How reduction shall be measured; and
(4) Reporting requirements for the producers;
provided that reduction shall not be measured by reducing the weight of packaging as it is against the goals of the State to increase the use of single-use plastics.
(b) By July 1, 2026, the department shall issue a draft implementation plan designed to achieve a seventy per cent reduction of packaging waste deposited in landfills or incinerated in the State by 2030 for review and comment by the advisory council. Within sixty calendar days after receiving the draft plan, the advisory council shall provide recommendations based on majority vote. Any advisory council member who does not endorse the recommendations of the council may submit a separate written recommendation to the department reflecting a minority opinion. The department shall consider the recommendations of the advisory council in developing the final draft for public review. By December 31, 2026, the department shall publish a final draft implementation plan for public review and comment pursuant to chapter 91. The public shall have ninety calendar days to provide written and oral comment. The department shall consider public input in developing a final plan.
(c) On or before July 1, 2027, the department shall publish a final packaging waste reduction and reuse implementation plan, including an implementation strategy designed to achieve a seventy per cent reduction of packaging waste deposited in landfills or incinerated in the State by 2030, with funding in whole or in part from covered producers beginning on July 1, 2026.
§342G-G Hiring process initiation. The department and counties shall prepare to implement the packaging waste reduction and reuse program beginning July 1, 2027.
§342G-H Rules. The department may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary to implement this part.
§342G-I Annual report. The department shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session, beginning one year after the establishment of the packaging waste reduction and reuse program. The report shall contain a summary of the following:
(1) Progress made toward achieving the seventy per cent packaging waste reduction goal, including the amount of packaging eliminated by weight and number of items;
(2) The needs assessments;
(3) Moneys deposited into the packaging waste special fund;
(4) The use of any moneys from the packaging waste special fund; and
(5) Any other findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation.
§342G-J Applicability. This part shall not apply to any material that is regulated by the department as a deposit beverage or used in the packaging of a product that is regulated as a drug, medical device, or dietary supplement by the United States Food and Drug Administration under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 to be deposited into the packaging waste special fund established pursuant to section 342G-E, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the packaging waste special fund established pursuant to section 342G-E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the department of health to fund contractors or two full-time equivalent (2.0 FTE) permanent packing reduction coordinator positions; provided that one coordinator position shall administer the packaging reduction program and assist the counties and one coordinator position shall develop rules, oversee and manage goals and objectives related to packaging waste reduction, and develop reports.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the packaging waste special fund established pursuant to section 342G-E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 to fund and manage the packaging waste advisory council established pursuant to section 342G-C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, including any facilitator.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Packaging Waste Reduction and Reuse Plan and Program; Department of Health; Producer; Appropriation
Establishes the Hawaii zero waste initiative to, among other things, manage the State's transition to zero solid waste to the landfill and to incineration. Establishes the packaging waste advisory council. Requires the department of health to develop an assessment of statewide needs to determine the resources required to reduce packaging waste by seventy percent from the baseline amount. Establishes a packaging waste reduction and reuse program. Appropriates funds. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.