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County of Hawai‘i

Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance

Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance in Hawaii

 

Hawaii Island has a big goal - to reduce the quantity of materials going into the island's landfills. And, to help further the goal includes reducing and hopefully eliminating the single use plastic bags at the sales-point service level, e.g. vendor to consumer at cashier check out.

The law became effective January 17, 2013.

Hawai'i is the first state to have plastic bag reduction laws...on all islands, in all counties!

Why does Hawaii need such a law?

Trash disposal is an issue on islands, period! Plastic bags, in particular, take hundreds of years to break down and biodegrade in the earth and when they finally do, they may degrade into unsafe chemicals. As you tour around our Hawaii Island, it is not uncommon to see the odd errant plastic bag that blew away only to find itself stuck on trees and bushes - an unsightly damage to our landscape and to the earth. The bags litter the roadways and our beautiful coastal areas. Plastic bags also end up in the ocean and can entangle coral, choke fish, turtles, birds and other animals that mistake plastic for food.

Plastic Bag caught in coral

About the law

- Groceries, restaurants, farmer's markets and other retailers must comply.

- January 17, 2013 is the kick off day when stores, which provide single use plastic carryout bags, must charge a fee to consumers.

- They have one year to completely transition to a plastic-bag total ban beginning January 17, 2014. From that day on, all single use plastic carryout bags will be prohibited. [The law will allow for plastic bags to be used for business' bulk items such as meat, fish, nuts, grains, fresh produce, small hardware, garments & prescription drugs.]

Shop with reusable bags in Hawaii and protect the invironment. Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance.

 

More on the law and answers to many questions can be found on the Hawaii County website for Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance - Frequently Asked Questions.

Reusable Bags are the Best Choice

Shop with Aloha and bring your reusable bag!