Kaua’i County Passes Ban on Plastic Bags

Posted by — October 9, 2009 3:11 pm

After several delays and a few key revisions to the legislation, Kaua’i county Council voted 4-2 to ban single-use plastic bags on the island. This ban comes not long after Maui County passed a ban and is set to begin on the same day. Kaua’i is the second Hawaiian island to take a stand against the unnecessary waste and environmental damage resulting from single-use plastic bags. (Kauaiworld.com)

The bill was originally written to take effect in July 2010, but with further input was changed to January 11, 2011. The ban will apply to retailers across the island with exceptions for non-profit organization fundraisers and community booster organizations.

Other key revisions include more significant fees on retailers who do not comply and removal of the 18 month exemption period for retailers who could prove “undue hardship.” A first offense will cost $250 per day, a second offense within the following 365 days will cost $500 per day and any offense beyond that, $1000.

Retailers and customers who may not be pleased with the outcome have plenty of time to kick their single-use bag habit and embrace a healthy reusable bag habit. Other options retailers still have include paper bags containing no old growth fiber that are at least 40 percent post consumer content or biodegradable plastic bags.

Retailers should encourage their customers to bring reusable bags with them when they shop; maybe even offer a discount for those who do. Starting a smart bagging policy will save retailers money and reduce waste dramatically.

While some are not happy with the outcome, the two council members who introduced the bill, Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara were pleased. “I feel very pleased that Kaua’i has made a statement in support of the environment” said Bynum. Kawahara feels it is “an important step forward to solving an environmental crisis…”

Curious about what other cities have enacted legislation to eliminate single-use plastic bags? Check out this interactive track the movement map to find out.

Read Full Story from Kauaiworld.com

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