O'ahu's Honolulu County is currently the only county in the state that does not regulate the distribution of plastic grocery bags to customers at checkout. This past week, the city council approved a bill to implement a plastic bag ban, which if approved by Mayor Peter Carlisle would become effective in July 2015.
Businesses caught using non-biodegradable plastic bags could be fined between $100 and $1,000 per day.
Bags such as those to collect animal waste and those to hold vegetables or newspapers, among others, would be exempt from the ban.
In the years between now and the implementation of the ban, a fee of first $.03 and then $.05 per bag would be charged to business owners, before the complete ban went into effect. Plastic bag bans are in effect in Maui and Kaua'i counties, and a similar one begins in Hawai'i County in January 2012.