Lawmakers propose a fee for disposable bags

Gov. Abercrombie advocated fee in State of the State address

Published  1:41 PM HST Jan 24, 2013
HONOLULU -

Lawmakers in both chambers of the Hawaii Legislature want to charge a 10-cent fee for paper and plastic shopping bags, and four representatives are sponsoring a bill to ban the so-called single-use checkout bags altogether.

All of Hawaii's counties already have their own bans on plastic shopping bags.  But some of the county ordinances have yet to take effect, and the proposals being considered at the state level would apply to paper bags, too.

Democratic Sen. Russell Ruderman says the fee proposal is part of a worldwide movement toward reusable bags.  He says the revenue will be dedicated to protecting the environment.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie advocated a fee for disposable bags during his State of the State address on Tuesday.

Hawaii House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says he supports the idea, but says it might be better addressed at the county level.

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