Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays and 2012 Round Up

Aloha Plastic Free Supporters,
Below is a round up of this year's events. Thank you all for your support, and we look forward to more great programming and community fun in 2013!

Capt. Moore visits Kailua's BookEnds on his Plastic Ocean book tour!

April Clean Up with Surfrider and other community partners yields over 125 volunteers, 435 pounds of debris and trash.
September Kailua Bay International Coastal Clean Up with Sustainable Coastlines and many community partners yields over 700 volunteers and 1740 pounds of debris and litter! GO Kailua! Full details here:
December's Microplastic Challenge was a new and fun event at Kalama Beach Park. We sifted giant jars of microplastic and awards prizes to each age division. A timely event as the presence of microplastics in Kailua received some recent press in the Star Advertiser.
This year we cultivated our partnership with Ocean Devotion and Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks to present free community movie nights in July (Bag It), August (Message in the Waves), October (The Rain Follows the Forest), and November (HI Monk Seals). These two partners have been doing amazing work in our community, even invasive species removal on the Mokes!
Also in our Kailua hui, we send Congratulations to our partners at Muumuu Heaven on their John Kelly Award from Surfrider Foundation. They are given the Environmentally Friendly Hawaii-Based Company Award for their contribution to help Hawai‘i’s coral reefs. As well, we'd like to thank Global Village and Whole Foods for their continued support.

Mahalo everyone! Now take time to Simplify the Holidays and we'll catch you in the new year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

December Beach Clean Up

We are celebrating the end of a great year and all of our wonderful volunteers in the Kailua community.

Join in for a Micro-Plastic CHALLENGE with hot dogs, a potluck, and PRIZES!! Help us sift for and collect the smallest pieces of degraded plastic pollution on our beach and compete to fill your jar with the most!

Saturday, December 1st 
at Kalama Beach Park

Sign in starts at 9:00am
Join us at 11:00 for the measuring of the Micro-Plastic, hot dogs provided by Ocean Devotion Hawaii, a low impact pot luck and PRIZES from our awesome sponsors Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks, MuuMuu Heaven, Global Village, Unlucky HI and
*Note our new location and time.

What to bring: hat, sunscreen, refillable water bottle, gloves, and anything you can use to sift plastic from the sand like an old collander. We could also use some more large jars (clear plastic or glass). 

Please contribute to our potluck if you can. Remember we strive to be low waste so finger food and your own utensils welcome.

RSVP on Facebook and help spread the word!

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 15th Kailua Movie Night

Join us for a FREE community evening event with talk-story, keiki crafts, pupus, presentations and films from local conservation groups, and more! It's all happening at Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks, 130 Kailua Road, on Thursday November 15th from  6:00pm - 8:00pm. This month we will be featuring presentations and short films by Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team Oahu and NOAA on how to protect and help our fabulous furry friend the Hawaiian Monk Seal. We'll also have a brief presentation by Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i on the successful International Coastal Cleanup of Kailua Bay in September. Ocean Devotion will be hosting keiki games and crafts starting at 6pm. Get there early for free pizza from Bob's too! Contact for more information. RSVP on Facebook.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October Events

We are pleased to showcase two exciting October Plastic Free events! 

Plastic Free Movie Night

Join us for another  Kailua community movie night with talk-story, keiki crafts, pupus, presentations from local conservation groups, and more! Thursday, October 18th, 6-8pm, at Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks.

We'll have a presentation by Hui o Ko'olaupoko about their important work on our watersheds. Join Ocean Devotion early at 6pm for keiki games and crafts. Free Pizza from Bob's too!

This month we will be featuring the film "The Rain Follows the Forest" by Hawaii DLNR: "Catch Jason Scott Lee as he sets out on a journey to learn about sustainable life in our island home. Through interesting conversations, he learns about Hawaii's fragile fresh water supply and discovers connections to our upland forest environment." RSVP on Facebook.

Captain Charles Moore Returns to Hawai'i
Join us on Sunday, October 14th from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm at University Laboratory School as Captain Charles Moore makes his final stop in Hawai'i for the "The Plastic Pollution Conversation - Pacific Rim Tour 2012." Captain Moore, author of "Plastic Ocean," is a prominent seafaring environmentalist and researcher who shares his maritime encounters with the shocking amount of plastic debris in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, now commonly referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The goal of the Pacific Rim Tour 2012 is to raise the intensity of awareness about plastic pollution, its impact, the challenges it presents and motivate individuals and groups to effect change. He will be discussing the recently completed Algalita/5 Gyres 2012 Asia Pacific Expedition through the Western Pacific Garbage Patch and the southern edge of the 2011 tsunami material swept to sea making its way across the North Pacific Gyre. Read more about the Tour here.

Don't miss these FREE events open to the public! For more info contact

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sept. 15 International Coastal Clean Up

On September 15th, Plastic Free Hawaii will be teaming up with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and a bunch of local organizations to help out the largest coastal cleanup Kailua has ever seen. The cleanup is in celebration of the beauty of Kailua and Lanikai.  It is also the 27th International Coastal Clean Up Day with Ocean Conservancy. Clean ups and data collection will be taking place around the island and across the globe.
Click to Enlarge Flier
Volunteers can find a check in point at any beach access from Castles to Lanikai 9:30am -12:00pm. The Plastic Free Hawaii Team will be greeting groups at Kailua Beach Park across from Buzz's. We will also have an educational craft booth for keiki of all ages at the after party 12-5pm in Lanikai Park. We'll be right next to our friends from Ocean Devotion. RSVP on Facebook!  To volunteer your school group or for more information email us at

Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, bring a reusable water bottle, reusable gloves and recycled old plastic bags to pick up trash. 

Other Oahu Clean Ups:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Film Screening

Mark your calendars! Our next community event is Aug. 16th, 6-8pm. We'll be showing "Message in the Waves" in the EcoLounge at Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks. Join in for crafts, talk story, and a special guest speaker, Andy Collins from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to update us on marine debris fighting efforts! Ocean Devotion Hawaii and other community partners will be helping out.

Message in the Waves is a film from the BBC Natural History Unit looking at some of the environmental challenges facing the people and wildlife of the Hawaiian Islands. More about the film:

Download and share the flier here.
RSVP on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Plastic Free Film Screening

Is your life too plastic? 
Join us for Bag It!

Kailua Sailboards EcoLounge
Thursday, July 12, 6-8pm
130 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI

FREE film screening, keiki crafts, and conversation. Fun for the whole family!

Hosted in partnership with Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks and Ocean Devotion Hawaii. Refreshments provided by Whole Foods Kailua.

Crafts and refreshments begin at 6pm. Film will start at 6:30 ( lasts 45 mins).

RSVP at the Facebook Event page. Dowload and share the flier here.

More about Bag It here:
Bag It has been garnering awards at film festivals across the nation. What started as a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. Join the Bag It movement and decide for yourself how plastic your life will be.

Kailua Sailboards will be hosting a series of documentaries so stay tuned!

More about Ocean Devotion Hawaii. Join them for a clean up at Kailua Beach Park on July 7th, 9-11am!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Speak up for Community Recycling Bins and the Plastic Bag Ban

A number of important developments are in the news concerning Oahu's waste stream. You can voice your opinion to the Mayor and City Council regarding the community recycling bin program and the bill to ban plastic bags. Save our incentives for Waste Reduction!

Are you keeping up with Oahu's latest trashy developments?
  1. A debate is brewing about where to place Oahu's next landfill and the growth of HPOWER. But where is the public discussion about waste reduction and recycling? 
  2. The City and County of Honolulu will be placing signs on community recycling bins around Oahu this weekend to notify the public that it is ending its white community bins program and renewing efforts to expand curbside and condo recycling. How will the end of the community bins affect you or your school? How can we improve our community recycling efforts?  
  3. The Honolulu City Council APPROVED Bill 10 last week that would prohibit businesses from providing nonbiodegradable plastic bags to their customers at the point of sale effective July 1, 2015 IF the mayor signs the bill.
Get involved and let your voice be heard... 
 *Save Community Recycling Bins
Please send in your support to the Honolulu City Council this morning to help keep Recycling at your school and/or keep the allocation of funding toward Recycling programs at schools throughout the island.

Here's some helpful tips from our partner Kanu Hawaii.
If the Community Recycling program ends, schools will lose an important source of community-supported funding. Since the start of the program, participating schools have received more than $1 million in returns for the cardboard, paper, and HI-5's collected in these bins. Many schools host monthly recycling drives that student activities clubs and after school programs rely on for funding.
  • Ending the recycling program sends the wrong message to the next generation of student stewards of the environment who have been learning and practicing recycling in their classrooms and homes.
  • The Community Recycling Bins are an important community resource. Have you used the white bins? Tell them why.
  • The White Bins provide community-supported funding for crucial after school programs, sports, and student clubs. This funding is especially important during a time when many creative and active programs in school are being cut from the curriculum due to budget constraints.
  • Thank them for their leadership and willingness to send a strong message that the City and County of Honolulu supports student and community efforts to reduce waste and is committed to recycling.
  • This budget allocation has support from Ann Kobayashi, chair of the Budget Committee, and Ernie Martin, chair of the City Council. They need to hear that the community supports this program in order to pass the amendment. Can you take 2 minutes now to send them an email?

    Testify in person this Thursday, May 10th at 9:00 am in the Council’s Committee Room in Honolulu Hale. Testimony can be faxed to 768-3827 or emailed above.  
    Link to Bill 14, CD1, FD1. Amendment List 22 under Refuse Collection and Disposal (third amendment from the top of the page)

    *Send Bag Ban Letters of Support to Mayor Carlisle by Wednesday!
    Mayor Carlisle said he'd review the bill and accept public input before making a decision on whether to sign it. Send a letter to Mayor Carlisle, urging him to sign the bill into law. Send your letter via fax 808-768-4242 or email, or call the Mayor's office at 808-768-4141.

    Here is a sample letter you can use and personalize:  
    SUBJECT: Plastic Bag Ban, Bill 10 - SUPPORT
    Dear Honorable Mayor Carlisle, 
             Please support and sign into law Bill 10, an ordinance to prohibit businesses from providing nonbiodegradable plastic bags to their customers at the point of sale. Plastic ocean pollution is a global issue, with regional solutions. Hawaii's ocean-based economy is threatened by plastic bags that litter our beaches and streets and harm marine wildlife.
             Reducing single-use plastics is of utmost importance for the benefit our island and passage of this bill will positively impact the people, economy, wildlife, and environment of Hawaii.
          Maui, Kauai, and most recently Hawaii Counties have already passed ordinances to move towards this, and it's time for Honolulu County to do the same.
          Please sign Bill 10 to keep Honolulu green. Thank you for your leadership on this issue.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Honolulu Passes Ban on Plastic Bags!

    The Honolulu City Council APPROVED Bill 10 today to ban plastic shopping bags effective July 1, 2015 if the mayor signs the bill.
    Plastic shopping bags will soon be a thing of the past on Oahu. The Honolulu City Council approved a bill Wednesday to ban plastic shopping bags effective July 1, 2015.

    If mayor signs bill, city will join three other counties.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Groundhog Day: Let's rethink the plastic bag bill saga

    Aloha gang, I wanted share a post from my Kanu Hawaii blog last week...Best, Rachel

    All this nonsense and redirecting on the bag bills is disheartening to many. Just like with land rights/zoning/development bills in the County and State this year, legislators are not listening despite widespread public support, even outcry. It's getting to be like the film "Groundhog Day" to those of us who have worked so hard on the issue.

    If you are interested in the latest news on the State and County level bag bills check here with Civil Beat and here with Sierra Club. Be warned, it is bewildering. But there are still things you can do to help the fight. Sample testimony here...

    At Kanu Hawaii, we have done a good deal of research on plastics and bag related bills.
    No matter how much research we do, there are limits to our reasoned arguments, facts, and figures. For one, the "fee" idea elicits a lot of emotion because it makes many automatically think "tax." As I write in the piece linked above the price of bags is buried in your purchase price and in your taxes for litter clean up already. The next understandable retort is "What about "biodegradable" plastic?" Well, I'm very sorry to explain that biodegradable and compostable plastic is a scam and carries misinformation, just like those plant bottles by Coca-Cola. Look, film plastic is very nasty, expensive, and difficult to recycle. And biodegradable plastic requires an industrial composter. It will not just melt away to nothing in your yard or at the landfill. And it will certainly still pose a threat to our marine environment. Further, putting plant based- or mixed-plastic in the recycling bin totally screws up the chemistry of the recycling chain based on the 1-7 classification numbers. And these products still require oil and water resources to make and move.

    That said, there are some consquences to debate. What about the environmental impact of paper bags? How will this effect our use of other materials for trash bags? There is still research, education, and work to be done to offer the best alternatives. (Yes, I'm talking to those of you who keep asking what they will do with their dog poo. Rethink. Rethink your bread and produce bags, newspapers, compost pits.)
    For me, growing the personal commitment to this issue remains a key element. Bringing your own bag is so easy and so vital. Arguably, you can't just legislate and hope to change the way all people look at the world. We still have work to do to get Oahu on board with a positive message. I'm preaching to the choir here, so I invite you to comment below on how we can move in new directions to build a positive and effective campaign.

    For starters, I invite you to join a beach clean-up. After attending and organizing dozens of beach clean-ups, I'll let you in on a little secret: it's not (just) about cleaning the beach. If picking up an overflowing bag full of bottle caps, lighters, cigarette butts, and fishing gear doesn't change the way you look at what you buy and what you throw away, you are not paying attention. With Kokua Hawaii Foundation, we host 100s of children at our clean ups. The kids grasp it immediately and feel so much pride in bringing their own water bottle or shopping bag. So come on adults, time to step up.
    You can join in a clean up on the Windward side the next two Sundays, 4/15 in Kailua and 4/22 for Earth Day at Mokapu'u Meadows. Details here...I'd love to see you and your whole family there.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    April Events

    Mark your calendars!

    April Beach Clean Up with Surfrider Foundation
    Sunday, April 15th
    9:30am – 12pm
    Kailua Beach Park 
    ·  Join us for a clean-up, lunch, and raffle with prizes from local sponsors like Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks, Unlucky HI, Global Village, Muumuu Heaven, Black Cat Salon+Spa, and Ocean Devotion. Lunch will be sponsored by UH Net Impact.
    ·  Meet at the first Kailua Beach Park entrance, behind Kalapawai Market 
    ·  What to bring: sunscreen, hat, work gloves, old colanders, water bottles. Bring any plastic grocery bags you have to give them a second life as trash bags. We'll have some food, but more to share is always welcome. We'll have coolers and other supplies.
    ·  Download, Print, and Share the Flier here. RSVP on Facebook

    Earth Day Clean Up and Event with Sustainable Coastlines
    Sunday, April 22nd
    9:30am - through the afternoon
    Makapu'u Beach and Sea Life Park 
    ·  Join us for a clean-up, food, raffle, live music, NGO booths, and more!
    We'll be manning the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Plastic Free Hawaii booth so please stop by. 

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Plastic Bag Bills in the Hawaii Legislature 2012 - Mid-Session UPDATE

    UPDATED 4/4/2012

    It has been an active and exciting 2012 legislative season for the bag bills thus far. On March 6th, SB2511 passed 23-2 in a Senate floor vote and moves on be considered in the House. This was the only bag bill left alive after the mid-session deadlines.

    Despite widespread support, SB2511 failed to be scheduled for a hearing by the deadline thanks again to Rep. Oshiro, head of the House finance committee. Details here via Civil Beat: Bag Bill, Gutted and Replaced, Clings To Life. There is still good, if confusing news. In response, House members have gutted another bill, HB 2483, and replaced it with text from the bag bill. So some form of bag bill is still alive for now. This is the new proposed language here... The substitute bill passed WAM on 4/3/2012 and is headed to conference committee for more debate.

    We'll let you know when to submit supportive. Sample testimony in the previous post on our home page! Testimony preferred by 24 hours in advance of hearing.

    In its original form this bill "Requires businesses in the State to collect a fee for single-use checkout bags provided to a customer. Allows businesses to keep twenty per cent of the fees for the first year of the program and ten per cent of the fees thereafter, subject to income and general excises taxes. Requires fees to be collected on single-use checkout bags not prohibited by county ordinance. Deposits all fees into a special account in the environmental management special fund. Requires first $800,000 of all fees collected to be expended by DOH for costs relating to administrative, education, audit, compliance, and enforcement activities associated with the fee. Requires any remaining fees collected to be deposited in the environmental response revolving fund and the natural area reserve fund. Requires reports to the legislature. Effective 7/1/2050." 

    The bill has widespread support from 33 organizations, including a diverse set of retailers, state and county agencies, environmental groups, and other organizations. Here's the latest Q&A details from our partners.

    As always we will keep you up to date. See the links in our post below for all the latest from Sierra Club's Capitol Watch and sample testimony!

    Also of note, a Plastic Bag Ban proposal for Honolulu City and County is still alive. Details here and here. In its latest round of debate, council members proposed a temporary fee.

    Environmental group volunteers littered the Capitol grounds with over 400 plastic bags in February, the number of bags an average family takes home in 1 year.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Plastic Bag Bills in the Hawaii Legislature 2012

    See the post above for the latest details. -PFK 4/4/2012

    Aloha, Get the definitive summary here and get busy testifying! Click on the Bill Numbers below to see the full text of the bill. Click on the Status links to see most recent updates and submit testimony.

    We’ll update this post regularly. We encourage you to follow along with our pal Leilei Joy Shih at the Opala section of the Hawaii Sierra Club’s new Capitol Watch Blog. You can even sign up for emailed updates! Also check out this great post "5 questions (and answers) about plastic bag bills" by our partner James Koshiba of Kanu Hawaii.

    Please take a careful look at the bills and give us your feedback. We share our initial thoughts below each bill in turn. Mahalo!

    SB2511 RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. Deferred but STILL ALIVE in new form, See the post above
    Requires businesses in the State to collect a fee for single-use checkout bags provided to a customer. Allows businesses to keep twenty per cent of the fees for the first year of the program and ten per cent of the fees thereafter, subject to income and general excises taxes. Requires fees to be collected on single-use checkout bags not prohibited by county ordinance. Deposits $800,000 annually of fees into a special account in the general fund for costs relating to the single-use checkout buy fee, $11,000,000 into the natural area reserves fund, and the remainder into the general fund. Requires reports to the legislature.
    3/16/2012HBill scheduled to be heard by ERB on Tuesday, 03-20-12 8:30AM in House conference room 312. (COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION & BUSINESS)
    We support HB 2260 and its partner bill SB 2511. Sierra and Surfrider argue that the above bills (with the fee) will fund important watershed restoration projects and are the ones they really want to push. Further, these bills already have DLNR and retail support. Volunteers have supported the measure with testimony and rallies. Details at Capitol Watch.
    Requires businesses in the State to collect a fee for single-use checkout bags provided to a customer.  Allows businesses to keep twenty per cent of the fees for the first year of the program and ten per cent of the fees thereafter, subject to income and general excises taxes. Requires fees to be collected on single-use checkout bags not prohibited by county ordinance.  Deposits $800,000 annually of fees into a special account in the general fund for costs relating to the single-use checkout buy fee, $11,000,000 into the natural area reserves fund, and the remainder into the general fund.  Requires reports to the legislature.
    2/21/2012HSince the House did not vote to adopt the HD2 reported from ERB, it is the HD1 that has been re-referred to FIN.

    Despite calls to the Chair of the Finance Committee Rep. Marcus Oshiro to urge him to schedule HB 2260 to be heard, this bill failed to meet the deadline. Details at the link:  Hear Me Out! Don’t Let the Resuscitated Bag Bill Get Left Behind.

    Requires businesses in the State to collect a 10-cent fee for each single-use checkout bag provided to a customer, with certain exceptions. Subject to income and general excise taxes, allows businesses to keep 20% of the fees collected from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13 and 10% thereafter. Requires fees to be collected on paper bags in counties that currently have ordinances banning plastic bags. Authorizes 20% of the fees collected to be expended by DOH for clean water projects. Authorizes 60% of the fees collected from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13, and 70% thereafter, to be expended by DLNR for watershed protection. Takes effect 1/1/2013.
    Status: 1/27/2012 H Referred to EEP/WLO, ERB, FIN, referral sheet 9
    HB 2821 is also a good bill, but may not get momentum. The first two definitely do. All 3 bills above place a fee on both plastic and paper, will put a fee on paper on neighbor islands but retain the in-place plastic bag bans, and will fund the Watershed Initiative programs.
    Requires a business to provide only biodegradable plastic, paper, or reusable bags as checkout bags to customers; prohibits a business from providing non-biodegradable single-use plastic checkout bags to customers; establishes an unspecified fine for each violation.
    Status: 1/27/2012 S Passed First Reading, Referred to ENE/EDT, WAM.
    SB 2932 is a plastic bag ban. We love and support bans! Food for thought, however, this would completely ignore paper. Sierra and Surfrider argue a plastic fee on Oahu with bans on neighbor islands, and fees on paper everywhere is better for environmental concerns. Again, we welcome your feedback on this issue!
    Requires businesses in the State to collect a 10-cent fee for each single-use checkout bag provided to a customer, with certain exceptions. Subject to income and general excise taxes, allows businesses to keep 20% of the fees collected from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13 and 10% thereafter. Requires fees to be collected on paper bags in counties that currently have ordinances banning plastic bags. Authorizes 20% of the fees collected to be expended by DOH for clean water projects. Authorizes 60% of the fees collected from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13, and 70% thereafter, to be expended by DLNR for watershed protection. Takes effect 1/1/2013.
    Status: 1/23/2012 S Passed First Reading, Referred to EDT/ENE/WLH, WAM.
    As for SB 2364- the companion to HB 2821 above --, we fear it may be deferred because of failures in title, etc. and as the other bills gain more momentum.
    HOW TO Give Testimony:
    The new website makes it easy to get your voice heard in a testimonial letter and will tell you how to make a stand in person at public hearings. Click on the “Status” links above. A simple, quick “I support this measure” will help our cause.
    OR here’s some sample testimony to build on. Make it your own and add specific details that you support about each bill. 
    I am writing to comment in support of Bill -----. Regulating single-use plastic bags (and paper bags) will help make Hawaii a model state for sustainable change.

    Hawaii, especially Oahu, is at a crucial moment for waste management. Despite the efforts of the H-Power waste-to-energy program, high rates of recycling, and a high landfill diversion rate, our facilities and landfills are overwhelmed. Legislating source reduction and behavior changing regulation is the targeted solution.

    The harmful cost of single-use plastics stretches from the oil it takes to produce it, to the health of the consumer, to the cost of disposal, and finally to the marine ecosystems it wrecks. Plastic is a material that the Earth cannot digest. Once discarded in the environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles. Patches of plastic pollution cover millions of square miles of ocean near Hawaii. Tragically, this plastic also ends up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals. Moreover, the creation and distribution of plastic products increases our polluting carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. The U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic bags each year, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to produce, and less than 5% are ever recycled.

    Reusable bags allow new avenues for marketing and save the retailer and consumer money. Reusable cloth and nylon bags can be purchased for a dollar (sometimes free) and used for years and years. Consumers actually pay hidden costs for so-called free bags. Further, reducing the consumption of single-use plastic bags will bring in money for our state and save money in clean-up costs. The taxpayer cost to subsidize the recycling, collection, and disposal of plastic and paper bags is more than the cost of the bag.

    Our taxpayer dollars are being used to subsidize the cost of waste. Much of this money could be redirected to benefit our state. Similar laws have been passed worldwide and have proven to be successful. For example, when Washington D.C. instituted its recent five-cent fee, bag use declined from an average of 22.5 million per month to 3 million in the very first month, and fees generated about $150,000 for use by the city.

    This bill effectively addresses the issue of plastic pollution by positively changing consumer behavior, decreasing external costs, and decreasing the amount of waste Hawaii produces.

    Mahalo for the opportunity to testify on this matter.
    Learn more about the HI Legislative Process at the links above and at the Hawaii Public Access Room. Also check out a replay of Legislature 101 on

    Other Opala bills of interest this session:
    SB2473 RELATING TO HEALTH. Prohibits the sale, distribution, or procurement of products or packaging containing certain toxic chemicals. Establishes a preference for the procurement of polyvinyl chloride-free intravenous products by the Hawaii health systems corporation.

    SB2824 RELATING TO THE DEPOSIT BEVERAGE CONTAINER PROGRAM.Removes the exemption for dietary supplements from the deposit beverage container program. Excellent bill putting energy drinks and vitamin water into the redemption program. Could garner $3 million.-See Leilei's post

    Already deferred:
    Imposes a tax on each single-use plastic checkout bag distributed to a customer by a business, to be paid by the customer.  Creates the single-use plastic bag special fund.  Exempts certain counties from the tax.
    Status: 1/26/2012 H The committee(s) on EEP recommend(s) that the measure be deferred.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Go Plastic Free with these Green Business Tips

     As a partner of the Kanu Hawaii No Waste Challenge, we have compiled a number of ideas, both basic and ambitious, concerning how to green your retail or food service business, specifically when it comes to waste. Based on our research, including conversations with both local business leaders and customers, we are providing you this list of tips to consider as well as vendors that can assist in implementing these changes.

    Becoming a “greener” business speaks to the core philosophies of your establishment. According to studies by the U.S. Government Small Business Administration, adding green-minded policies and products to a marketing strategy can boost your reputation with the growing number of environmentally concerned customers.