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Hawaii first US state to ban plastic bags

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As the war to end the use of plastic bags at retail POS (point of sale) rages on in cities across California (and America), the most recent of the 50 states, Hawaii, has become the first in the country to outlaw plastic bags outright.

The statewide ban came as a result of Honolulu, the last holdout among Hawaii’s cities and counties, banning usage of the bags earlier this month.

As reported by the Honolulu Star Advisor, the city’s Mayor Peter Carlisle signed off on the plastic bag ban on May 10 after City Council approved it by a margin of 7 -1 late last month. The Honolulu ban goes into effect on July 1, 2015.

But according to Treehugger, loopholes in the bill render it less than 100 percent effective. Running down the laundry list of exemptions cited by KHON 2, plastic bags can still be used to package loose items (produce, grains, coffee, etc.), prepared foods, frozen foods, flowers and even prescriptions.

"We hope people are going to understand that between now and 2015 we're going to be hoping that more and more of them are going to be bringing their own bags to the grocery stores, reducing the problem that plastic bags are already causing," Honolulu Mayor Carlisle said upon signing the bill.