Bill Text: HI HB456 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating To The Environment.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-27 - Referred to EEP, CPC, FIN, referral sheet 1 [HB456 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2021-HB456-Introduced.html

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

456

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

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 Act 176, Session Laws of 2002, established the deposit beverage container program "to expand participation in recycling programs and to minimize costs to those participating and to government."  However, the legislature finds that the costs of recycling have skyrocketed, and it may be beneficial for the State to explore other alternatives to recycling that encourage zero waste.

     In 2017 alone, 5,900,000,000 pounds of plastic beverage containers were sold nationally, but only 333,000,000 pounds were recycled into new containers, according to the Conservation Law Foundation.  Nearly all of the remaining plastic bottles end up in landfills or burned in incinerators.

     For decades, the United States was sending the bulk of its recycling to China; however, in 2018, China restricted imports of twenty-four types of recyclable material.  In 2019, companies from China purchased 2,800,000 pounds of plastic beverage containers from the State's deposit beverage container program but that amount has decreased dramatically due to China's new restrictions.  Facing the same issue, many cities across the country are forced to address the environment and financial costs of recycling.

     The legislature further finds that recycling centers in Hawaii started selling plastic to companies in India, Indonesia, and other South-East Asian countries.  However, materials that become contaminated cannot be recycled, including materials that are mislabeled, mixed with non-recyclables, or improperly cleaned; these contaminated materials end up in landfills or dumped in the ocean.  For this reason, more countries are prohibiting or restricting the importation of trash for recycling.  And it is unclear whether the State's recycling efforts contributes more to the global trash problem -- rather than reducing it -- since Hawaii is unable to account for the end location of its recycling.

     The purpose of this Act is to require the department of health to conduct an economic and environmental study of the deposit beverage container program.

     SECTION 2.  (a)  The department of health shall conduct an economic and environmental study of the deposit beverage container program.  The study shall include but not be limited to:

     (1)  The environmental and financial costs of the deposit beverage container program;

     (2)  Whether there is a nexus between the revenues collected from the deposit beverage container program and their expenditure;

     (3)  Whether there are more viable alternatives to recycling than the deposit beverage container program that support source reduction; and

     (4)  Whether the deposit beverage container program should cease.

     (b)  The department of health shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2022.

     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 2021-2022 for the purposes of this Act.

     The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Deposit Beverage Container Program; Department of Health; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the department of health to conduct an economic and environmental study of the deposit beverage container program and report to the legislature prior to the regular session of 2022.  Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

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