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COUNTY OF HAWAII <br />STATE OF HAWAII <br />BILL NO. 17 <br />ORDINANCE NO. <br />( DRAFT 2 ) <br />AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14, HAWAII COUNTY CODE 1983 <br />(2005 EDITION, AS AMENDED) BY ADDING A NEW ARTICLE RELATING TO <br />PLASTIC BAG REDUCTION. <br />BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII: <br />SECTION 1. Findings and purpose. It is the County's responsibility to preserve the <br />health of its residents and natural beauty of the island. Plastic bags, though a convenient <br />commodity, have been recognized as detrimental to the environment and to the Island of Hawaii <br />for the following reasons: <br />1. Plastic bags do not degrade into safe compounds. Consequently, they introduce <br />unsafe chemicals into the environment. <br />2. Whether because of poor management or irresponsible disposal, plastic bags <br />contribute to unsightly litter. Moreover, these plastic bags create the potential <br />for death of marine and pasture animals through entanglement and ingestion. <br />3. Because plastic bags do not biodegrade, but instead break down into smaller <br />and smaller pieces, plastic bags simplify the introduction of toxins into the <br />marine environment, increasing the overall toxin concentration into the oceans, <br />and inevitably into fish and other marine wildlife. <br />4. Plastic bags create an impediment to the County's landfill diversion goals. <br />The council finds that, in order to preserve the health, safety, welfare, and scenic and <br />natural beauty of the County of Hawaii, the use of plastic bags must be regulated. The Hawaii <br />County General Plan, Environmental Quality Element 4.3, includes the following policies for the <br />County: <br />"(a) Take positive action to further maintain the quality of the environment. <br />(b) Reinforce and strengthen established standards where it is necessary, principally <br />by initiating, recommending, and adopting ordinances pertaining to the control of <br />pollutants that affect the environment. <br />(d) Encourage the concept of recycling agricultural, industrial, and municipal waste <br />material." <br />The council recognizes the need to proactively address the environmental harm resulting <br />from the proliferation of plastic bags. The purpose of this article is to reduce the use of plastic <br />bags and to encourage the use of environmentally preferable alternatives, such as reusable bags. <br />This ordinance addresses only plastic shopping bags distributed to customers at checkout. <br />