Bag Gag - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

October 15, 2008

Bag Gag

The plastic bag ban effort has fallen through on the Big Island, as an attempt to override the Mayor's veto failed by one vote.  Maui County will have its ban in place in 2011, while Honolulu County's plastic predicament is sitting somewhere in the netherworld of committee assessment.  Ah yes, it wouldn't be a complete weekend or a football game without seeing some errant plastic bag wafting along, so this lack of conviction on the part of Big Island Council members ensures that nothing will be done on the bag issue, for now.

Yes, there are problems with wet items and leakage in paper bags, and even biodegradable paper pollutes, but simple education will certainly not get consumers to respond on their own like a plastic ban obviously would have.  Strong fiber bags that people can leave in their trunks for shopping needs are a plausible solution if and when plastic inevitably goes away, but that doesn't appear like it will be happening anytime soon on Oahu or the Big Island.  Plastic bags clog drains, choke marine life, add to landfills, and certainly populate our parks and shores.

Let's hope this topic doesn't get bagged again in future county conversations.  Maybe some local, entrepreneurial soul can become the bag king or queen of Hawaii and make this concept of a better bag a big-time business and environmental success.  Like with most environmental and business matters, if we don't handle this, who will?  Think about it...

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