Paper or plastic? Prepare to pay thanks to new city shopping bag ban
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The start of the month marked the start of a new ban for Oahu consumers.
On Sunday, the city's shopping bag ban went into effect. Under the ban, supermarkets and other stores are required to charge you at least 15 cents per bag used — paper or plastic — when you check out.
And the new rules are getting mixed reviews from shoppers.
At Foodland in Kalihi, it was hard to miss the signs at the register notifying shoppers of the new rules. Still, some people were caught off guard.
"For today I bought it, but it sucks because I am used to just traveling fast. Not thinking about grabbing a bag because I didn't have to before. I am too old to care," one elderly shopper said.
Other shoppers say, the new rules makes sense to them.
"That's fair. If you bring your bags you don't pay 15 cents. We forgot ours at home so we had to pay the 15 cents per bag, which is not a problem," Carl Bush said.
The new charge was also in effect at the Iwilei Shopping Center in stores like Longs, Petsmart and Ross. Employees at each of the stores explained the new rules when asked.
But it was a different story at the Downtown Walmart.
When we went to the checkout, the prompt on the self checkout register said it was charging 10 cents a bag, but then an error message appeared and the cashier let us go with out paying the fee.
The store manager said they knew about the issue Sunday morning and have since updated their system to charge the new 15 cent fee.
There are still some exceptions to the rule, however.
For example, shoppers won't be charged for a paper or plastic bags used to transport fish, meat or produce. And your favorite place to get take out; They're exempt from that rule as well.
"I always bring my bag," Leticia Morales said.
Morales sides with shoppers who don't mind paying a small fee if she were to ever forget to bring one.
"Well for me it's okay. It's okay for you to pay 15 cents," Morales said.
Honolulu City Councilman Brandon Elefante introduced the law to protect the environment. All the bag fees go directly to the businesses.
"The city doesn't get one cent out of any of this charge," Elefante previously said.
Come January 2020, retail plastic bags will be completely outlawed on Oahu.
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