Sunday, March 27, 2011

HI Plastic Bag Legislation Updated 4.28.2011

We’ve reached a make or break moment! Here's the latest on what YOU can do to help reduce plastic bags in Hawaii. It’s really easy – just an email to, -- more details at the link or quoted below!
UPDATE 4/15: The bill passed with amendments in the House and is sent back to the Senate for debate again...It's not too late to send in support by following directions below!

UPDATE 4/28: From HI Sierra Club Capitol Watch: The next 48 hours could decide whether Hawaii significantly reduces the approximately 500 million single-use paper and plastic bags used each year. Senate Bill 1363, which places a small fee on most paper and plastic bags, is on the brink of passage. But we need the backing of Representative Marcus Oshiro to move forward. Taking action is really easy – you can call Representative Marcus Oshiro at 586-6200 (preferred). Or you can email all of the conference committee members.,,,,,,,,,

Once again Hawaii has an opportunity to lead America on an important environmental issue: we could be the first state in the nation to significantly reduce consumption of throwaway paper and plastic bags.
We’ve reached a make or break moment – a pivotal point where a little public action could be enough to secure victory. The bill to impose a fee on most single-use paper or plastic bags, is really close to passage.
We already pay for these bags, but the cost is hidden in the overall price of the products we buy. Experience in other states and countries has proved that once people are made aware of what these bags cost – by being required to pay a small fee per bag at the checkout- they change their behavior and start to employ reusable bags.
The bill has just one last committee to pass, Finance, and then a vote in the full House and Senate. We think 500 emails, phone calls, or public calls for its passage would probably be enough to get it passed. Wouldn’t you like to be one of those 500?
It’s really easy – just email all the Senators and all the members of the House of Representatives with a single click on each of these links below:

Say something along these lines:
  • I strongly support legislative efforts to reduce the use of paper and plastic bags.
  • Over 12,000 plastic bags are used in the United States every second.
  • In this country we consume an astounding 100 billion throwaway plastic bags every year made from some 12 million barrels of oil.
  • These bags clog our streets, foul our open space, pollute our fragile marine environment and kill thousands of animals every year.
Please pass SB1363 and protect Hawaii's fragile environment from the millions of bags wasted each year.

More information can also be found at the Capitol Watch site or on our Legislative Tracker.

P.S. In the time it has taken you to read this message, about 500,000 throwaway plastic bags have been used.

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