Opposing Bill 40 – Banning Plastic Containers


December 4, 2019. | Agenda Item CR-389  Bill 40, CD1 and Proposed Amendments (PDF)

To the Honorable Honolulu City Councilmembers,

It is with great urgency that I urge you to vote AGAINST Bill 40 for the following reasons:

  1. Banning one use plastic and other containers will force businesses to increase prices for consumer goods. Price increases such as this do not live alone in a vacuum. 
  2. Over the years the City, State and Feds have enacted way too many, restrictive, environmental laws that have increased our costs for consumer goods such as vehicles, fuel, electricity, household products, food and medicine. Legislation that impact price increases do not live in a vacuum. With Hawaii being one of the most expensive states to live in, we consumers cannot always be forced to bear the costly brunt of legislation like this.
  3. Businesses who rely on the plastic packaging will be forced to turn to more expensive alternatives. Guess what? The cost for these alternatives will be passed on to consumers, or even worse, drive business out of business.
  4. The City Council and other elected officials on both the State and Federal level should not always cave into the active, extremist environmental lobbyists who support these types of legislation. Every time you cave and give them something, they come back for more the next year, and the next year. Cases in point:
    1. Regulations on automotive emissions drive the cost of vehicles up.
    2. Banning of open burning for our trash in our own yards have created landfills, and now that they are filled no one wants a new one near them.
    3. Bottle tax – A costly program that impacts us everytime we buy a bottled drink. That 6 cents accumulates over the years. The bottle tax has created a horrible side industry where homeless vagrants search through our trash and litter the properties on which dumpsters sit.
    4. First Plastic Bag Ban – You caved to these lobbyists once already… and now that plastic bag ban costs us and businesses more money… The lobbyists have now come back to extend their tentacles to make this a total ban. I think this totally stinks.

I could mention more but I think you get the brunt of what I am saying. DO NOT VOTE FOR ANY VERSION OF BILL 40 and let it die on the vine. Today. Now.

BTW, I do not work in the retail or food industry. Just testifying for myself. Thank you.

Melvin Ah Ching, Honolulu HI



Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.