In Hawaii, residents are responding and adjusting to a state-wide ban on plastic bags that went into effect on July 1. During this inaugural week, while the jury is still out on its impact, environmentalists are keeping up the pressure on retailers, criticizing and wondering why so many are still being given out at local grocery checkout stands.
Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (B.E.A.C.H.) voiced its concern that the ban was having little effects on reducing litter on beaches. It surveyed the trash left behind at Ala Moana Beach Park on Sunday, July 5, and found plastic bags littered everywhere.
The new law exempts plastic checkout bags from takeout food, drinks and bakery goods. The so-called re-usable bags already thrown away shows that most consumers are not keeping them for reuse. People are treating the thick plastic bags the same as the disposable plastic bags like before.
Why ban plastic bags?
Because they seem to find their way to the coastal waters and the oceans in garbage patches. Besides their impact on sustainability, plastic bags adversely affect wild lives such as sea turtles and birds, making them susceptible to being caught and trapped, or they inject these plastic substances and became ill.