Google+

Plastic Shopping Bags Out in Hawaii

Perhaps because of their proximity to what has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Hawaiians have voted to ban the use of plastic shopping bags throughout the state by 2015.

This month, Honolulu County became the final county in the island state to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags at shopping centers. Voters also approved the ban of paper bags that did not contain at least 40 percent recycled material.

Officials said the 2015 deadline will allow local retailers and shoppers the time to make the appropriate changes.

“(The deadline) gives us plenty of time to get ready,” Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle told MSNBC. “Retailers will be able to use up their inventory of bags and make arrangements to educate the public on the importance of bringing their own bag.”

The movement to ban the bags was driven in part by the Sierra Club, a national conservation group, and the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental group focused on protecting the oceans. The local chapters of both groups organized rallies and raised awareness for the cause on both a state and county level.

“We also lobbied extensively for statewide legislation, which failed, but it helped direct attention to the issue and eventually got the last county to take action,” Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club’s Hawaii chapter, told MSNBC’s Miguel Llanos.

“Being a marine state, perhaps, we are exposed more directly to the impacts of plastic pollution and the damage it does to our environment,” Harris said in explaining the support in all four counties. “People in Hawaii are more likely to be in the water or in the outdoors and see the modern day tumbleweed — plastic bags — in the environment.”

A bill that was passing through the state legislature would have charged shoppers 10 cents per plastic bag used, but the bill lost momentum earlier this month, just two weeks after being introduced. A statewide ban of the plastic bags also recently failed in California, according to Harris.

Hawaii’s ban comes just after a report earlier this month from the Scripps Institute that showed plastic trash has been accumulating in the Pacific Ocean at an alarming rate. A region in the northern Pacific has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch because of the millions a bits of trash swirling about in the ocean currents there. The area this trash covers has increased by 100 times in size over the past 40 years, the report said. Researchers found the flotilla of trash is having a significant and measurable impact on the creatures living in that area.

While the Garbage Patch could explain Hawaii’s motivation in enacting the ban, experts aren’t predicting the floating trash heap will motivate the rest of the country to take similar actions. Many feel the plastics industry is too entrenched with their many lobbyists for state or national politicians to take up the cause.

The most likely lesson to learn from the Honolulu County ban is that it’s easier for activists to ban the use of plastic bags incrementally at the local level.

Source: Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com

Source: redOrbit (http://s.tt/1cjgF)

Entertainment

Dax Shepard and Michael Pena Co-Star in Raunchy Revival of Classic Cop Series

  Chips Film Review by Kam Williams Dax Shepard and Michael Pena Co-Star in Raunchy Revival of Classic Cop Series Whenever a classic television series is made into a movie, the buzz always seems to be about whether the screen version will be a creative variation on the theme or merely a campy, cornball, take-the-money-and-run ripoff … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity

  2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity by Amy Lignor   Origami. Memory albums. Quilting. What do these have in common? Well, at one point or another in time, they have represented the “hottest” hobbies in the United States. Taking up hobbies are not only a fun thing to do for the “artistic/creative” type, but they also help to reduce … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

The Versatile Ballyhoo

  The Versatile Ballyhoo By Capt. Gus Cane When targeting reef and offshore gamefish, the versatile ballyhoo is an excellent bait choice. Fished whole or cut into chunks, ballyhoo will entice everything from snapper to dolphin to blue marlin. It’s readily available, either live or frozen, and can be rigged in a variety of ways. Although … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers?

  Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers? by Amy Lignor   For any of the millions who once watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports and heard the words “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” they remember the footage of a skier’s crash when it came to the “agony” side of things. Everyone knew that sight was a fact – a video that was … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

  How Are Retail Sales in 2017? E-Commerce Reigns by Amy Lignor   Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible … [Read More its Good For You...]

Health

Making Your Health “Resolute”

  Making Your Health “Resolute” by Amy Lignor   It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made. We all know the ones most likely being placed on lists everywhere: stop smoking and lose weight. Why? Because these have always been the top two when it comes to goals, so that the next time the ball drops you feel amazing that the … [Read More its Good for You...]