- 24 January 2012 | Environment
Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi signed legislation banning businesses from handing out free plastic shopping bags.
The Big Island now joins the islands of Maui and Kauai in the ban of plastic bags. Kenoi acknowledged plastic bags often become litter when he said, "this bill holds the promise of keeping our island clean, healthy and safe, and we need to finish the job."
The bill will go into effect on January 17, 2013, and under this law, retail stores will not be allowed to offer plastic bags to their customers, at the checkout counter.
Shoppers would have to use paper bags or their own reusable bags. Garbage bags and the bags in the produce section of grocery stores are exempt.
The county must still come up with administrative rules and penalties and will hold public hearings.