Hawaii

EPA to Study Plastic Debris on Hawaiian Island

In an article on the Los Angeles Times yesterday, Tony Barboza reports that the United States Environmental Protection Agency has begun the process of examining the effects of plastic debris on a remote Hawaiian island airstrip. Tern Island, the site of the study, is a breeding ground for sea birds, and in recent years has been exposed to a huge influx of debris as a result of storm damage to a nearby sea wall. According to the article:

Reusable Bags Show Hawaii Bag Ban Success

A plastic bag ban in Hawaii has been applauded as a success story in an article on West Hawaii Today, which shared that the recently instituted plastic bag ban has reduced plastic bag usage, with 80% of shoppers now bringing their own bags. Reporter Nancy Cook Lauer writes that staff surveys were conducted in supermarkets across West and East Hawaii, and the results showed a greater acceptance of the bag ban than on Maui or Kauai. According to the article, reusable bag usage was at just 13% before the ban's implementation, displaying a huge increase. Writes Lauer:

Kaiser Announces Statewide Bag Ban in Hawaii

In a move which is unprecedented in the state of Hawaii, healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente has decided to do away with plastic bags, eliminating the bags dispensed to patients on a voluntary basis. Instead, environmentally friendly and biodegradable bags will be available upon request. In an article from Hawaii's KITV News, the company announced its pride in being a part of a movement to stop unnecessary plastic usage. 

Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Plastic Bag Tax

Despite the Hawaii-wide ban on plastic bags set to take effect in 2015, lawmakers are working on a temporary solution that they feel will save taxpayers and the environment from paying the price of plastic pollution. According to Mileka Lincoln of Hawaii News Now, lawmakers would like to introduce an intermediary bag tax in order to prevent the environment from suffering any further pollution. Lincoln writes:

House Bill 357 would require businesses to charge a dime for each single-use bag provided to customers at check-out.

Hawaii First State to Ban Plastic Bags at Checkout

In an article published on MSNBC today, contributor Miguel Llanos reports that [USA's] Hawaii has become the first state to completely ban plastic bags at store checkouts with legislation passed on Thursday. Llanos writes that this legislation makes Hawaii the only state in America in which every county within the state has instituted a ban. According to the article:

Maui (Hawaii) Bag Ban

The island of Maui, in the state of Hawaii, voted in August 2008 to pass a bag ban, which went into effect January 11, 2011. Although the island was the first in the state to ban the bag, it gave retailers additional time to phase out plastic bags and stock up on reusables.

The ban (read full text here) prohibits any business, not just supermarkets, from using plastic bags.

Kauai County (Hawaii) Plastic Bag Ban

KauaiKauai County voted in 2009 to institute a ban on plastic bags throughout the county.

By a vote of 4 to 2, the Council passed Bill No. 2322, Draft 2, Ordinance No. 885. It was approved by the Mayor and became law on October 12, 2009. The ordinance applies to all retail businesses in the county.

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