The big island of Hawaii has instituted a law that will gradually ban plastic bags. The new policy went into effect on January 17, 2013 and was announced by the Department of Environmental Management for the County of Hawai’i.
Under the new policy, all businesses located on the island are required to charge a small fee for single use plastic carryout bags. Businesses included in this mandate are grocery stores, retailers, restaurants, and farmer’s markets. The law provides businesses a year to transition into the new procedure and all single use plastic bags will be completely prohibited from the island by January 17, 2014.
There are a few exemptions and those include plastic bags used for meat, fish, bulk produce such as nuts and grains, fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, small hardware items, clothing, and prescription drugs.
City Council representatives said the measure was essential to protect the beauty and environmental sustainability of the island which has limited landfill resources.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: As more and more municipalities adopt plastic bag bans and regulations, your business would be well-served by coming up with strategies to address plastic bag usage before it is regulated. If you start now, you’ll be steps ahead of the competition!