The Hawaii County Council is scheduled to vote today on an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags from all businesses, and allowing only paper or reusable bags in the County.
In the state of Hawaii, two other counties, Maui and Kauai, passed and implemented their plastic bag bans in January of this year. See the list of all ordinances in the country here.
The Hawaii County Council vote occurs after months of public hearings and comments. The bill was first introduced by Council Member Pete Hoffman in February. According to this article, Hoffman had sponsored two previous bag ordinances in 2008 and 2010. The 2008 ordinance passed council but was vetoed by then-Mayor Dixie Kaetsu.
Plastic bags are a visual blight and have a negative impact on the marine environment and wildlife, threatening Hawaii's ocean-based economy.
Despite what the plastic industry may say, the plastic bag does not have a lower environmental impact than its alternatives. Even after disregarding the fact that a plastic bag never biodegrades in the environment (lasting years and years after its 15 minutes or so of useful life), studies have shown that in as few as 8 uses, a reusable bag made from recycled content can have lower greenhouse gas emissions and use less water and energy than a single-use plastic bag. See other common myths about plastic bags dispelled here.
Take a stand against this problem product. Visit our Take Action page to send letters in support of current plastic bag ordinance proposals.