Reusable shopping bags: Honolulu delays bag bill

Reusable shopping bags would get a boost from a bill before the Honolulu City Council. But the measure, which would also ban some plastic bags, was deferred.

John Loggins/
A clerk loads live crabs into a paper bag in Honolulu's China town in this May photo. The city council has deferred a bill that would ban many plastic shopping bags and encourage instead reusable shopping bags.

The Honolulu City Council's Public Infrastructure Committee has deferred action on a bill to ban plastic shopping bags.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the committee is still awaiting a report on how the measure can be improved.

City Environmental Services Director Tim Steinberger says the report may not have been received because it was sent during the transition when Mayor Peter Carlisle took office.

Committee Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi said Tuesday that the issue will be taken up when the report is received.

Under the bill, distribution of nonbiodegradable plastic bags under certain conditions by large businesses would be prohibited. It would also encourage use of alternatives, such as recyclable paper bags or reusable bags.

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