Winter 2003 Home   Newsletters

Summer 2004

Winter 2004

2004 State Council
At the Legislature (Jean Aoki)
Bottle Bill Survives Legislature (Malama Souza)
Berkeley City Council Places Public Funding on November Ballot (Jean Aoki)
Viewpoint: Campaign Finance Reform (Grace Furukawa)
Mark Your Calendars
Report from Kauai (Carol Bain)
East Hawaii Report (Lois Cecil)

Bottle Bill Survives Legislature

Thanks to all of you who testified in support of Hawaii's Beverage Container Deposit Law, also known as the "bottle bill," during the final weeks of the 2004 Legislative Session. It was a close call!

SB1611 CD1 makes a few adjustments to the original bottle bill that was passed two years ago to improve the system for reporting and redeeming beverage containers for retailers and redemption centers including language to block raids on the deposit fund for general fund use and to provide temporary administrative rules.

The "bottle bill" is now on Governor Lingle's desk where she has the option to sign, veto, or simply allow the measure to pass into law without her signature, thanks to the temporary administrative rules.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As of June 14, the legislation is still on her desk. The Governor has until July 12 to decide what to do.

The State Department of Health, recycling companies and counties can now step up efforts to prepare for the law's start date on January 1, 2005. This is when consumers will receive five cents back for returning bottles and cans for recycling. Recycling companies are working diligently to site redemption centers on all islands.

Thanks to the passage of SB 1161 CD1, according to the City and County of Honolulu's Recycling Coordinator, Suzanne Jones, certain components of Hawaii's Beverage Deposit Law will be implemented earlier than the January 1 start date. Specifically, in November and December, local food retailers will begin stocking their shelves with deposit containers (and charging shoppers for the deposit) as they sell out of nondeposit containers.

By January 1, 2005, vendors will be required by law to stock only deposit beverage containers. Purchasers can also expect to see deposit "redemption centers" in operation by October and will be accepting non-deposit containers to put their systems through a dry run.

Hawaii residents must wait until January 1, 2005, to redeem their bottles and cans for the nickel deposit. And although the bottle bill will take some getting used to, Hawaii will surely see higher recycling rates and many fewer bottles littering our roadsides and beaches.

For more information, visit

Malama Souze
Environment Chair

Winter 2003 Home   Newsletters Winter 2004