February 5, 2009, 8:39 AM HST · Updated February 5, 2:41 PM

(By Wendy Osher © 2009)

Council Vice Chair Mike Molina is supporting a statewide ban on plastic bags, similar to the one he introduced at the county level last year. The county plastic bag reduction bill is set to go into effect on January 11, 2011, and prohibits the distribution of plastic bags at the point of sale.

The state version was introduced by Maui Senator J. Kalani English and colleague Josh Green-calling for a ban on distribution of plastic shopping bags by retail stores and supermarkets across the state.

“I am pleased that the State Legislature is considering the prohibition of plastic check out bags,” said Molina. “This measure will help to protect our wildlife, preserve our environment and reduce our dependence on oil.”


When the council passed the bill and the Mayor signed the measure on August 22, 2009, Maui became the first county in the state to act to prohibit distribution of plastic bags.

“Many cities and countries throughout the worldare acting to prohibit the use of plastic bags,” said Molina. “It’s time that the state of Hawaii join many other entities in efforts to protect the health and safety of our environment.”

Molina noted that in March of 2007, the city and county of San Francisco became the first city in the nation to prohibit the distribution of plastic bags at the point of sale. Since then, cites and countries throughout the world, such as Boston, Seattle, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Annapolis, New York, Austin, Phoenix, London, China, Australia, Ireland, India, France, Italy and Taiwan have acted to ban the distribution of plastic bags.

Vice Chair Molina submitted testimony in support of the state measure. The item comes up for review before the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment on Thursday, Feburary 5, 2009 at 4:15 p.m. in room 225 of the State Capitol.

Testimony can be submitted to the committee at [email protected].


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