Plastic bag ban in Hawaii “a resounding success”

Reusable bag use shows bag ban’s success
By Nancy Cook Lauer
West Hawaii Today

HILO — The first month of Hawaii County’s plastic bag ban seems to have been a resounding success, members of the county Environmental Management Commission learned Wednesday.

A full 80 percent of shoppers were observed using reusable shopping bags in staff surveys of shoppers at grocery stores and big box retailers in both West and East Hawaii in the month since the county ban went into effect, said Recycling Coordinator Linda Peters. That compares to 13 percent before the bag ban went into effect.

Peters cautioned commissioners that more data is needed before the county can declare victory over the plastic bag, but she credited an aggressive public information campaign with getting shoppers prepared for the transition.

“It’s higher than what we saw on Maui and Kauai, so we’re pretty happy about that,” Peters said.

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