City Council's Plastic Bag Ban Could Become Fee04/04/2012
The Honolulu City Council will today entertain an amendment that would turn its proposed plastic bag ban into a plastic bag fee — at least temporarily.
Chair Ernie Martin and Tulsi Gabbard the two sponsors of the original underlying bill, are set to introduce a change during the afternoon meeting of the Public Works and Sustainability Committee. The amendment would add some intermediate steps as the city works toward a full ban. Here's how it would work:
First, for one year from sometime in 2013 until sometime in 2014 (the exact dates are as-yet unclear), all plastic bags distributed at the point of sale would be subject to a three-cent fee. After that year, the fee would go up to five cents per bag.
The money collected would go to a special city fund to pay for the program, and stores would be required to keep track of and report their experiences. At some point, after data has been collected, the city would implement a full ban on plastic checkout bags. The date for that switch is also not identified in the proposed amendment.