Hawaii’s latest iteration of a plastic ban may arrive next year, this time restricting the use of plastic water bottles in an effort to reckon with the costs of pollution. Sate lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prevent plastic water bottles holding less than 2 liters from being sold within the state, adding them to a roster of other materials like plastic utensils and plastic bags that counties have banned in recent years.  “We have to end our overreliance on plastic,” said Rep. Sean Quinlan, who authored the bill.

It’s an approach that acknowledges the pitfalls of recycling, which in recent years has emerged as a flawed if well-meaning way to handle waste.  If passed, the bill would ban the sale of plastic water bottles smaller than 2 liters starting Jan. 1, leaving an exception for bottled water used in emergency and public health situations. China made headlines in 2019 when its National Sword policy halted the flow of recyclable waste to its borders, forcing global recycling markets to find somewhere else to put their waste.

Now, rather than only focusing on ways to improve the recycling process, some lawmakers think it would be better to simply use less plastic in the first place. It gets to the heart of “throwaway culture,” said Rep. Nicole Lowen, a co-sponsor of the bill and chair of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee, the bill’s first stop.

To read the full story, visit https://www.civilbeat.org/2023/01/plastic-water-bottles-may-be-next-ban-in-hawaiis-war-against-pollution/.
Author: Ben Angarone, Honolulu Civil Beat
Image: Claire Caufield, Civil Beat