Rise Above Plastics Legislative Bills 2015:

Aloha everyone,

Welcome to the 2015 legislative session! Below is the updated list of bills that the RAP Coalition is supporting this year, along with a brief description of each bill and its introducer(s) as of 2/2/15. Please click on the hyperlinks to stay updated with the bill’s progress and to submit testimony:

Plastic Bag Ban:

  • HB 1507: Establishes a uniform minimum standard statewide on the use of plastic bags by retailers. Establishes a working group to study methods to reduce the use of all disposable bags. (Rep. C. Lee, Belatti, Brower, Creagan, Ing, Keohokalole, Lowen, Saiki, San Buenaventura, Thielen, Evans, Souki).

Smoking Ban:

  • HB 876: Prohibits smoking in all public coastal areas of the State. (Rep. Ing).
  • HB 525: Prohibits smoking and the use of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or betel nut products within the state park system. Requires posting of signage. Includes definitions. (Rep. Evans, Rep. Ing).
  • HB 749: Imposes on wholesalers and dealers a beach clean-up cigarette fee per cigarette sold, used, or possessed. Establishes and allocates moneys generated to the Beach Clean-Up Special Fund for litter removal from beach land. (Rep. Brower, C. Lee, Rhoads, Thielen, Belatti, Creagan, Ing, Luke, Morikawa).

EPS Foam Ban:

  • HB 754: Prohibits restaurants, food establishments, and food packagers from providing food in polystyrene foam containers beginning 1/1/16. Requires the use of compostable food containers. Authorizes DOH to allow exemptions. (Rep. Lowen, Ing, C. Lee, LoPresti, Luke, Thielen, Brower).
  • SB 639: Requires restaurants or food establishments to provide consumers with the option of using compostable or reusable disposable food service containers. Requires signs to be posted informing consumers that such containers are available. Establishes penalties for violations. Effective 7/1/15. (Sen. Taniguchi).

 Microbeads Ban:

  • HB 621: Gradually prohibits the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads to protect marine life. (Rep. C. Lee, Evans, LoPresti, Lowen, Belatti, Keohokalole, Rhoads).
  • SB 689: Prohibits the sale of personal care products that contain synthetic plastic microbeads beginning on January 1, 2016. Requires violators to pay a fine. (Sen. Gabbard, Green, Inouye, Ihara, Riviere, Wakai).
  • SB 575: Beginning on January 1, 2016, prohibits the sale of personal care products that contain synthetic plastic microbeads, excluding personal care products that contain synthetic plastic microbeads that are less than one part per million by weight, natural exfoliants, and personal care products that contain only biodegradable synthetic plastic microbeads. Establishes the plastic pollution special fund and requires violators to pay a fine that is deposited into the general fund and the plastic pollution special fund. (Sen. Ruderman, Gabbard, Shimabukuro, L. Thielen, Inouye).

 Biodegradable Bill:

  • HB 620: Requires plastic products labeled as biodegradable, degradable, decomposable, or compostable to meet ASTM D6400 standards. (Rep. C. Lee, Aquino, Evans, Ito, LoPresti, Lowen, Belatti).
  • SB 1170: Requires the DOH to adopt a standard specification for compostable and that plastic products labeled as “compostable” meet the applicable standard specification adopted by the DOH. Prohibits a person from selling plastic products labeled as “biodegradable” or implying that a plastic product will break down, fragment, biodegrade, or decompose in a landfill or other environment; and provides an exception for plastic products labeled as “compostable” if certain criteria are met. Establishes fines for violators. Takes effect on 1/1/2016. (Sen. Gabbard, English, Inouye, Green, Ruderman, Wakai).

 Stormwater Bill:

  • HB 1325: Authorizes the counties to establish and charge user fees for stormwater management. (Rep. Souki).

On behalf of the RAP coalition, Mahalo for your continued support and let’s rock this year!

Stuart H. Coleman

Surfrider Foundation Hawaii Chapter Coordinator