Senders quash junk mail bills, senator says
Recently, I read that Hawaii is one of 18 states with a "Do Not Mail" law in regard to junk mail. Can you provide more details and, more important, tell us how to get on a list so that we don't receive more junk mail?
Answer: Hawaii is among 18 states where legislation has been introduced to set up a "Do Not Mail" registry, similar to the federal "Do Not Call" registry aimed at telemarketers.
But no state has passed such a law, and it doesn't look like Hawaii is going to do so any time soon.
Senate Bill 908, introduced during the 2007 Legislature, and House Bill 2592, introduced this legislative session, have been shelved, with no hearings.
Both bills would have required the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to establish a state "Do Not Mail" registry. Companies could not send mail soliciting the sale of goods or services to Hawaii residents whose addresses were on the registry.
Sen. Willie Espero, who introduced the Senate bill, said his intent was to use the "Do Not Call" registry as a model but that there was strong opposition, "primarily from the marketers ... the advertisers."
He says he wants to do more research and possibly come out with a measure next session that is meaningful but still accepted by marketers.
Meanwhile, ForestEthics is pressing for a national "Do Not Mail" registry.
In a news release, the nonprofit group says such a registry "will finally offer citizens control over the unsolicited coupons, credit cards, catalogs and advertisements that fill their mailboxes on a daily basis."
Like the "Do Not Call" registry, "'Do Not Mail' also addresses a nuisance," said Executive Director Todd Paglia. "But junk mail has the added consequence of serious environmental effects that must be confronted if we are to stop climate change and reckless deforestation."
If interested, you can sign a petition at www.DoNotMail.org.
Q: Why are they selling big bottles of soda and charging 6 cents at checkout but say I can't redeem them because they're not marked HI-5?
A: You didn't give any details, so it's difficult to figure out why that happened.
The state Department of Health has received two complaints about not having liter containers accepted for redemption, but the containers were not marked "HI-5."
You can be charged 5 cents for the refundable recycling fee and 1 cent for the nonrefundable handling fee -- and get a refund -- only if a container is marked "HI-5."
There might be some confusion because from Dec. 1 to March 1, during a transition period, all beverage containers, 48 ounces or less, marked HI-5 or not, were accepted for redemption.
Since March 1, all liter containers have to be labeled "HI-5" for redemption.
If you have a receipt and unmarked bottles, you should return to the store to ask for a refund. Call the Health Department at 586-4226 for information or to file a complaint.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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