hawaii lawmakers propose a fee for disposable bags
Lawmakers in both houses of Hawaii\'s Legislature want to charge 10-
For paper and plastic shopping bags, four delegates are sponsoring a bill banning such shoppingcalled single-
Fully use the cashier package.
All counties in Hawaii have imposed a ban on plastic shopping bags.
But some of their regulations have not yet come into effect, and proposals being considered at the national level will also apply to paper bags. Sen.
Democrat Russell Ruderman says the bill is part of a global campaign to reuse bags.
\"I think it\'s important to encourage people to get rid of the mentality of \'throw it away once using it, \'\" Rudman said . \".
The income will be used to protect the environment, he said.
House whip Lauren Cheape is a lawmaker who wants to ban disposable bags.
The newly elected Republican said the ban solved the problem more directly than the charge.
She called the charge proposal \"a tax on something that is good for the environment \".
The \"ban\" forced us to make tough decisions, but it was the best solution given the high cost of living in Hawaii, Cheape said. Rep.
Sharon Hal, author of the bill, agreed.
\"The government needs the courage to do the right thing for the environment without hurting consumers,\" Har said . \".
One-time postage will be a vulnerable source of income, she said, and will create a disproportional burden on low-and middle-income people.
\"At the end of the day, there is no need to tax and spend money to do the right thing,\" Har said . \".
Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Seki said he supported the idea of charging, but he said it might be better to address the issue at the county level.
In May, Honolulu became the state\'s last county to approve a ban on plastic shopping bags.
However, unlike the bill being considered by the legislature, the county decree applies only to disposable plastic bags and not to paper plastic bags.
It may take some time for the county ban to take effect;
For example, the Honolulu decree will not be implemented until July 2015. Gov.
Neil Abercrombie claimed the cost of a disposable bag in a state speech on Tuesday.
The Democratic governor said the income from the bags could help protect Hawaii\'s watershed.
Hawaii\'s Legislature considered a proposal last year to charge for plastic shopping bags, but the bill never passed.