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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:06 pm
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Location: Tai Peng
This is what we need here -- though of course, since so much of the crap in our bays and beaches comes from the mainland, would only be a start

Honolulu mayor signs expanded plastic bag ban bill into law on Oahu

Bill 59 (2016), FD1, CD3 bans stores from providing any plastic bags starting in 2020.

Starting July 1, 2018, non-exempt businesses are required to charge customers a minimum of 15 cents per bag for groceries or other merchandise. That bag needs to be reusable, compostable, or a paper bag that contains 40-percent post-consumer content.

But after Jan. 1, 2020, even those thicker plastic bags will no longer be considered reusable. Compostable plastic bags will also be banned.

“There’s no longer going to be plastic bags. You’re going to have to come in with your own reusable bag, just like the other counties have,” said Caldwell.

Currently on Oahu, grocery stores and retailers are not allowed to hand out single-use plastic bags at the checkout, which is how the market for thicker, reusable plastic bags emerged.

But city council member Brandon Elefante, who authored the bill, says those bags are now polluting our island.

“Our main issue is really address the issue of plastics, and while merchants and businesses made thicker bags, what was happening was that some people were reusing it, yet these were thicker bags now going into our environment,” Elefante said. “We live on an island and it’s to ensure that we reduce the amount of plastics that we do use and to be more sustainable.”

While they’re supposed to be compostable, volunteers of 808 Cleanups often see them floating along our shorelines.

“It doesn’t break down all the way, so it’s a misconception when it says it’s a compostable bag. It’s kind of an oxymoron. There is no such thing,” said 808 Cleanups assistant director Fawn Liebengood. “Just this last week, I saw a bird eating a plastic bag that was floating through the park, so we definitely need to have an all-out ban.”

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