Environmental Protection

Malama Honua --Take care of Mother Earth has always been critical for Lorraine Inouye..

In 2017, Sen. Lorraine Inouye worked closely with her legislative colleagues to help pass the Hawai’i law that embraces the Paris Climate Accord, and she was subsequently appointed by the Governor as the only neighbor island legislator serving on the newly established Hawai’i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption Commission. This gives her a front-row seat in establishing needed programs and policies to address the far-reaching impacts of global warming by Hawai’i.  

But a commitment to Environmental Protection – to Malama Honua -- take care of Mother Earth -  is not new to our Senator.  It is, in fact, something she learned about as a child growing up in a plantation community.  It has guided her public policy thinking and decisions from the beginning and is the reason she was the chief Senate negotiator on and credited with securing passage of Hawai’i’s Deposit Beverage Container program – aka, the HI-5 Bottle Bill to formalize statewide recycling. 

 7 Billion Containers Recycled…and counting…Thanks to the Hi5 Program Lorraine Spearheaded!

According to legislatively requested audits of the program, Hawai’i’s Deposit Beverage Container Program has since January 2005 assisted and motivated Hawai’i residents to recycle over 7 billion containers.  That’s billion…with a “b.” 

Through HI-5 recycling, consumers have removed these containers from the waste stream, reduced litter in the community and kept tons of plastic out of the ocean. 

Thank you, Senator Inouye! 

More recently, as Chair of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee, she has led the committee in policy decisions to achieve a zero-emissions clean economy by 2045 with a net-zero carbon footprint to help slow global warming and sea level rise.  

She introduced a bill to establishing battery storage tax credits to expand solar and reduce global warming; the bill passed the Senate but was one of several to perish in the House in the waning hours of the 2018 session.  She plans to re-introduce it in 2019 because it will meaningfully help Hawai’i meet its 2045 commitment to achieve 100% renewable electricity. 

On the environmental front, she also supported banning toxic sunscreens, and buffering schools and parks from pesticides and voted to support a first-in-the-nation ban on chlorpyrifos, which has been identified as a dangerous pesticide. 

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