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Bill seeks change in Honolulu’s plastic bag ban


HONOLULU — A Honolulu City Council member wants to change the city’s upcoming plastic bag ban.

The bill by Breene Harimoto seeks to ban all retail plastic bags, even those labeled as biodegradable.

The original ban passed in April 2012 is scheduled for a start date of July 1, 2015. The ban prohibits the distribution of plastic bags, but exempts plastic bags labeled as biodegradable.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says there’s no clear established definition of biodegradable plastic bags.

Council chairman Ernie Martin, among the sponsors of the original bill, says he opposes the proposed change, which would delay the ban’s effective start date to Jan. 1, 2016.

Martin says it would be better to assess the effectiveness of the ban after implementing it than to delay it further.