U.S. State of Hawaii Rejects Proposals to Ban Plastics

Author:Suny Group

The legislative committees in Hawaii have rejected proposals to ban a variety of plastic products used by the food service industry. The two committees- the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee voted towards amendment of anti-plastics bill. The amended bill will now be send to the House Finance Committee for further consideration.

According to sources, a section of the bill that would have led to prohibition of sale and use of plastic drinks bottle, utensils, stirring sticks, bags and straws was deleted. The passage of the bill would have made Hawaii the first state to ban most plastics at restaurants. However, the section recommending establishment of a working group in order to develop a plan to eliminate single-use plastic packaging was approved by the committees.

In addition to the above bill, the Committees also deferred another bill that proposes to ban use of polystyrene foam containers at restaurants and other business establishments. The Hawaii Restaurant Association had raised opposition to the bill, claiming that banning plastics would lead to significant increase in consumer costs. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) too has opposed outright ban on plastics, recommending boosting of recycling efforts instead.

It must be noted that the bills have already passed the Senate.

Both the bills were introduced with the aim of protecting Hawaii’s natural resources. Plastic waste has already become a growing problem across the islands