POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2013
Lawmakers in both chambers of the state Legislature want to charge a 10-cent fee for paper and plastic shopping bags, and four representatives are sponsoring a bill to ban single-use checkout bags altogether.
All of Hawaii's counties already have their own bans on plastic shopping bags. But some of their ordinances have yet to take effect, and the proposals being considered at the state level would apply to paper bags, too.
House Minority Whip Lauren Cheape (R, Mililani-Schofield-Kunia) is one of the lawmakers hoping to ban disposable bags. The newly elected representative says a ban is a more straightforward way of addressing the issue than a fee.
Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Saiki (D, Downtown-Kakaako-McCully) says he supports the idea of a fee but says it might be better addressed at the county level. In May, Honolulu became the last county in the state to approve a ban on plastic shopping bags.
It also could be a while before the county bans are all in effect; Honolulu's ordinance, for instance, won't be implemented until July 2015.