January 2002 Home   Newsletters

March 2002

April 2002

President's Message (Pearl Johnson)
Honolulu League's Annual Membership Meeting
Is 2002 the Year for a Bottle Bill? (Jackie Parnell)
Vote Today - Vote No in One Puka (Anna Hoover)
More about the Proposed New Position on Trade
Nominating Committee Report
Welcome New Member
Voter Service Committee

Is 2002 the Year for a Bottle Bill

After many years of frustration and failure, we had a real breakthrough last year. Thanks to the determination and hard work of Representative Hermina M. Morita and many others, HB 1256, providing for refundable deposits to carbonated and non-carbonated beverages (except dairy products), made it through six committee and floor votes through both houses of the legislature in 2001. It was held when opponents in the food and beverage industry asked for and were granted time to develop an alternative. Fast forward to 2002 and the completion of their study which proposes — drum roll, please — that the counties set up curbside recycling programs! Excuse us, we've already tried that. It is not only very expensive; it does nothing to address the litter problem at all.

It is not like the food and beverage industry interests have been ignored. The bill was developed through a collaborative effort of the Department of Health, OEQC, all four counties, the recycling industry and environmental organizations. The group tried to address as many of the concerns of the opponents as possible. But the opposition remains adamant.

Meanwhile, an estimated 880 million bottles and cans are sold in the state each year. The city calculates that the drop-off systems already in place capture about 20 percent of these. That leaves about 700 million to be strewn along our roads and beaches or sent to the landfill. Since states with bottle bills typically achieve an 80 percent recycling rate, refundable deposits could result in a fourfold reduction of the waste stream and a major reduction in litter.

Now would be a very good time for you to have a chat with your representative and senator and let them know that you would like them to listen to you instead of the industry lobbyists. And remind them of the recycling goals that they have set for the state and how far we are from attaining them.

Thanks to the newsletter of the Container Recycling Institute for information used in this article. See their websites:

www.BottleBill.org and

www.Container-recycling.org for more information.

Jackie Parnell

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