Apr 30 - Hawaii Likely First to Ban Plastic Bags Statewide With Local Ordinances

The state of Hawaii may soon be rid of the ubiquitous plastic bag.

Last week the Honolulu City and County Council passed a plastic bag ban, which now awaits a signature by Mayor Carlisle. Honolulu is the last county in the state without a bag ordinance, so if signed into law, Hawaii becomes the first state covered by local plastic bag bans.

Earlier this year Hawaii County adopted an ordinance banning plastic bags which goes into effect next year. Maui County banned plastic bags in 2008, and Kauai County in 2009. Both bans became effective in January 2011.

The ordinance in Honululu bans non-compostable plastic bags from the island of Oahu. The deadline for Mayor Carlisle to take action is May 10.

Urge the mayor to sign this bill into law.

The Hawaii State Legislature is also considering a bill to restrict both paper and plastic bags statewide. Currently, no state has the distinction of passing a bill to ban or restrict plastic bags. But with close calls in California and Oregon in recent years, and with this new push in Hawaii, we expect that to change in the near future.