The Aloha state just banned plastic checkout bags, the first state to do so. Now every other state has no excuse to stick with an ultra-common receptacle that instantly doubles as instant permanent litter.
Grocery stores and other retailers will no longer be able to give out bags “provided by a business to a customer for the purpose of transporting groceries or other retail goods, and is made from non-compostable plastic and not specifically designed and manufactured for multiple re-use.” So say goodbye to beautiful moments like this.
The bag ban will take effect Wednesday, when Oahu becomes the last Hawaiian island to officially prohibit the use of non-compostable bags from retailer stores. Chicago and other cities have also put the kibosh on them.
The change is still shy of what you’d call sweeping. Stores can still offer plastic bags for produce, takeout bags at restaurants, newspaper delivery bags, and pharmacy bags for medications, among others.
But it’s a huge step. Anybody in violation of the law will have to pay up some serious fines. Violators will have to fork over $100 fines and pay up to $1,000 per day.
Hawaii will encourage businesses to offer plastic bag alternatives, including tote bags and other recyclable and reusable methods, to reduce the 100 billion plastic bags the United States uses per year, many of which just wind up floating out toward Hawaii.