Plastic Bag Ban

Casey Harlow

The ongoing effort to ban use of plastic bags, utensils and styrofoam containers moved forward at the Honolulu City Council Thursday. 

Although the city prohibited stores from offering single-use plastic bags in 2015, an exemption allowed Oahu restaurants to still use plastics to transport prepared food. 

Bill 40 would eliminate the exemption and add plastic utensils to the list of proposed single-use items to be banned. Styrofoam containers are also on that list.

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Single use plastic bags are banned in Hawaiʻi — or at least they require an additional cash payment. Dozens of locations around the world now restrict the use of plastic bags, and one of the latest is New Zealand.

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The list of places banning single-use plastic bags is growing. This week, Charleston, South Carolina joined 10 other state coastal communities in stopping their use. Next month, Boston will join the list. And in the Asia Pacific, recent developments about plastic in two countries are getting broader attention.

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been almost two months since Oahu joined the rest of the state in outlawing single-use plastic bags. In the Asia Pacific, the latest country to ban the use of those plastic bags is New Zealand.

Keng Susumpow / Flickr

It’s been just over a month since customers at stores on O‘ahu started paying 15 cents for plastic bags. This week in Australia, one of the country’s leading grocery store chains reversed its policy on plastic bags — and environmentalists are angry.

Kyle Van Horn / Flickr

This Sunday, stores around Oahu began charging 15 cents for plastic bags. Most people realized this change was coming, and it hasn’t been a big deal. But a similar change in Australia is having a very different result.

Pixabay / cocoparisienne
Pixabay / cocoparisienne

The use of plastic bags and polystyrene foam food containers continues to be a matter of controversy across the islands. Last week, the Maui County Council voted unanimously to ban the use of polystyrene containers by the end of next year. That same issue is also a political debate across the Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Town Square: Maui's Polystyrene Ban

Dec 7, 2016
frankieleon / Flickr
frankieleon / Flickr

  Maui wants to take the lead in banning one-time use polystyrene products. And there's a bill before the County Council to do just that. Next time on Town Square, we'll consider that proposed ban, how effective the bag ban has been and whether Hawaii will continue to get the plastic out of our state.

Maui’s Plastic Bag Debate

Nov 17, 2016
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Plastic bags have been a point of political contention around the islands for years. In May of 2015, O'ahu became the last island to ban the use of most plastic bags at store check-out counters. This week, the Maui County Council considered toughening its ban on plastic bags—and extending it to other items that wind up in landfills. We get more on the story from Colleen Uechi of The Maui News.

Flickr / velkr0
Flickr / velkr0

For the past year, shoppers on O‘ahu have not received single-use plastic bags at the checkout line. But in many grocery stores, thicker plastic bags that are considered reusable are still allowed. That’s a problem for environmentalists who are calling on the city and county to propose a better ban. 

Is Oahu's Plastic Bag Ban Working?

Jul 16, 2015
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

It’s been two weeks since O‘ahu’s plastic bag ban went into effect. But not everybody is happy with the results. Environmentalists say a loophole in the new law allows retailers to still use plastic bags. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Oahu Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect

Jun 30, 2015
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Honolulu County grocery shoppers will no longer be asked the question: paper or plastic? Starting tomorrow, O‘ahu will become the final county in the state to enforce a plastic bag ban. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr
Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Starting this July, consumers on O‘ahu will no longer receive plastic bags for their groceries, or most other purchases. A bag ban is already in force across other islands, and starting today, there are new restrictions on plastic bags in Hong Kong. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

  The plan to ban plastic bags in Honolulu has been delayed until next year.  Members of the Honolulu City Council introduced Bill 38 to more precisely define the word biodegradable.  Councilman Stanley Chang said the bill was deferred last week to allow more time to study the impacts of the measure. 

Experts say that there is no such thing as a 100% biodegradable bag, so advocates are pushing for an outright ban. 

Suzanne Frazer represents the Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii.  

Flickr / Eli Duke
Flickr / Eli Duke

  

  For the past year, shoppers in Hawaii County have been unable to get plastic checkout bags or have had to pay for them at the checkout stand.  But starting soon, Hawaii County will ban the use of plastic checkout bags entirely.  HPR's Sherry Bracken gives us the details.