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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Big Isle mayor wants broader littering bill

By Nancy Cook Lauer
West Hawaii Today

The last time Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann introduced a bill limiting plastic shopping bags, the administration vetoed it as being too broad.

This time, a new mayor says the measure isn't broad enough.

"I'm sort of perplexed," Hoffmann said Friday. "The previous administration chided us for going too far, too quickly."

Mayor Billy Kenoi last week stopped just short of saying he'd veto the bill that's scheduled for action today by the County Council's Environmental Management Committee.

"If it's about littering, let's have a littering bill then, something more comprehensive," Kenoi told the Environmental Management Commission at its meeting Wednesday. "Let's have a well-crafted bill. Let's have a bill that's truly enforceable."

The latest version, Bill 193, would ban only plastic bags at checkout. Included in the ban are plastic checkout bags of noncompostable or compostable plastic that are not specifically designed for multiple reuse. Paper bags would not be prohibited.

Nonprofits and unincorporated community booster groups would be exempted from the ordinance. In addition, businesses will be allowed to make plastic checkout bags available for purchase until Jan. 1, 2012.