Just a couple weeks into their single-use plastic bag ban folks in Honolulu noticed something wasn’t right – some stores were still distributing plastic bags. Honolulu’s bag ban technically prohibits stores from handing out plastic bags that are thinner than 2.25 mils. The plastic bags being handed out now are in fact thicker, so they are allowed under the ban. These thicker bags are billed as reusable since they are durable.
There isn’t a clear and easy answer to that question. Disposable plastic bag bans are intended to stop the use of plastic bags in order to reduce the negative environmental impact. As some cities have found out there can be some unintended consequences of passing a bag ban.
You bet they do and research shows they are internally motivated to do so. Like anything new it takes time for shoppers to get used to a disposable plastic bag ban or fee, but once customers have a routine and get into the habit of bringing their reusable bags when they go to the store people begin to really support the measure and can see the value it brings.
On July 1, 2015 Oahu joins the other Hawaiian Islands by prohibiting single-use plastic bags, effectively banning disposable plastic bags throughout the archipelago. Bag bans have gained a lot of support in Hawaii since they preserve the natural beauty of the land and water, and reduce the negative environmental impact caused by plastic bags. As one group has learned single-use bag bans can also do a lot more to help the people of Hawaii.
A measure to levy a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic bags in Philadelphia failed to even get a hearing before the City Council, so at this time there are no laws regulating the distribution of disposable plastic bags. Shoppers in Philly may be happy that they do not have to pay a per bag fee when they shop, however, the hidden costs of single-use plastic bags can add up to some big expenses.
There is always news to report when it comes to single-use plastic bag bans and we have rounded up some good and promising news below. We are happy to share these stories with you and remember to check out our bag ban map to learn about even more cities working to ban single-use plastic bags.
Back in 2012, Dallas had big plans to go zero waste by 2040. There was even talk of increased recycling and banning disposable items such as plastic bags. Talks have stalled and Dallas has not completely given up on this ambitious goal, but with this single-use bag fee setback it is not likely Dallas will reach this milestone.
Plastic pollution has such a far reaching impact, but the effect on wildlife is alarming and sad. There are so many ways plastic pollution can happen; from people carelessly tossing an item on the ground to the wind lifting items from recycling bins or landfills. Whether intentional or not, pollution happens.
Reusable products are handy and convenient, but one of the main perks of reusable products is that they do away with the need for disposable products, like single-use grocery bags. Disposable products like single-use plastic bags are a problem because they typically either end up in a landfill never fully breaking down and possibly entering our water supply, or as litter that has a detrimental impact on our oceans and our wildlife.