Hawaii Joins the Plastic Bag Cleanup Effort

Each of the four populated counties in Hawaii have passed legislation to remove plastic bags from checkout counters at grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers. This ban, which goes into effect officially on January 17 on the Big Island, makes Hawaii the first entire state to put a ban on plastic bags. The ban is already being enforced on the islands of Kauai and Maui and the plastic bag ban goes into effect on Oahu in 2015.

For the past year on the Big Island, there has been a surcharge on single-use plastic bags while retailers deplete their current supply. The state will still allow plastic bags for bulk items such as nuts, fish, meat, grains, fresh produce and garments.

Shoppers can choose to bring their own custom grocery bags or get paper bags in the checkout line. Although legislators have been discussing taking the eco-friendly movement a step further by implementing a small fee to purchase paper bags at checkout. It’s a great time for consumers to seek out reusable bags for shopping trips and avoid any additional fees, or contributing to the growing pollution problem.

Since Hawaii is a marine state, it is easier to see the effects of plastic pollution on the local ecosystem and surrounding ocean. Recent studies have proven that single-use plastic bags endanger marine wildlife. Plastic contributes to marine life strangulation and restricting mobility through entanglement, which for some species leads to suffocation and death. The disposable bags have also contributed to animal casualties by disrupting their digestion when ingested. Plus as the bags break down they leach harmful toxins into the delicate ecosystem.

Whether your city has a plastic bag ban or not, take a step in the eco-friendly direction this year. Provide reusable custom grocery bags for your clients and see a change in your environment.  Contact Custom Grocery Bags today for your logo inspired reusable bags.

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