Hawaii’s Plastic Bag Ban Signed into Law

May 17, 2012

Hawaii officially signs the plastic bag ban into lawLast week, it was announced that Hawaii was officially saying no to plastic bags and many rejoiced in the eco-friendly law. The ban was signed into law last Thursday by Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle making it the first state in the nation to outlaw the use of plastic bags across the entire state, Treehugger reports.

The ban, which begins on July 1, 2015, includes all non-recyclable paper bags and all non-biodegradable plastic bags when checking out at stores. With that said, KHON2 posted what type of bags will still be allowed, after the law goes into effect.

• Bags used by customers inside a business to package loose items, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, ground coffee, grains, candies or small hardware items.
• Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, flowers or potted plants, or other items to contain dampness.
• Bags used to protect or transport prepared foods, beverages, or bakery goods.
• Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription medications.
• Newspaper bags for home newspaper delivery.
• Door-hanger bags.
• Laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bags, including bags provided by hotels to guests to contain wet or dirty clothing.
• Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags.
• Bags used to contain live animals such as fish or insects sold in pet stores.
• Bags used to transport chemical pesticides, drain-cleaning chemicals, or other caustic chemicals sold at retail level, provided that this exemption shall be limited to one bag per customer.

“This is really getting people to change their behaviors and that’s one of the most difficult things to do frequently and we hope people are going to understand that,” Carlisle said.

Congrats to Hawaii for taking a step in a greener direction. What do you think of the new law?

Photo Credit: Flickr/Newtown Grafitti