Hawaii visitors may soon no longer be heading to the store for those familiar cases of plastic-bottled water. That comes as the Hawaii state legislature advances a bill to ban single-use plastic water bottles starting January 1, 2024.
Effective 1/1/2024 prohibits the retail sale of single-use plastic bottles designed to hold less than two liters of bottled water for oral consumption, with certain exceptions. — HB 87 HD1
On the heels of the plastics-caused death of a whale on Kauai.
The new bill addresses concerns about plastic in the ocean, which is of paramount importance to our island-state Hawaii. It also comes just following the whale that died on Kauai, which was reported internationally to have had vast amounts of plastic nets, traps, and other debris in its stomach.
While numerous legislators spoke in favor of the bill recently, the International Association of Bottled water spoke in opposition.
Reality: anything except reusable is environmentally harmful.
The bill, in part, acknowledges that beverage recycling is not a reality, and even when it was, the problems are so significant as to make the process ineffective.
The International Association of Bottled Water is one of several organizations opposed to the bill. They argued that the plastic used in recyclable water bottles, polyethylene terephthalate, results in less greenhouse gas emissions than aluminum and glass throughout their life cycles. There’s at least some truth to that.
Controversy about water costs, recycling, safety, environmental impact, and more.
Not long ago, Jason Momoa was in the news hyping his Mananalu Pure Water. That’s the Hawaii-themed mainland water that comes in aluminum cans instead of plastic containers. That environmentally deleterious water costs nearly four times more than plastic bottled water at about 15 cents an ounce. Plastic bottled water can be under 4 cents an ounce but without the allure.
The “Aquaman” star touted the elimination of single-use plastic. He also appeared on a flight, acting as a serving flight attendant on Hawaiian Airlines to promote the airline’s use of Mananalu on mainland flights. Momoa said, “I’m tired of these plastic bottles, we’ve got to stop. Here’s to new beginnings, let’s spread the aloha.”
Ineffective recycling; sustainable reuse.
Recycling is acknowledged to be the least effective form of beverage container waste reduction.
Remember that aluminum cans end up in refuse and when they are made and recycled, they consume vast amounts of energy. The UK’s Carbon Trust said, “The aluminum industry can play on the fact that its product is infinitely recyclable, and they’re right. But primary aluminum uses huge amounts of electricity, and it’s also got some chemical releases of greenhouse gas emissions.” “A 330 ml [aluminum] can is responsible for 1,300 grams of carbon dioxide emissions… A plastic bottle of the same size… accounts for up to 330 grams,” said Reuters.
The question is when rather than if this will be implemented.
The bill has already seen widespread approval from legislators. When it was brought before the body last year, it didn’t appear to have the same degree of support and died early in committee. One legislator who voted against it this time, however, said he reasoned that the effective date should be in three years rather than in less than one year.
The bill will snake its way through the legislative process before possibly arriving for a full house and senate vote.