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Plastic Bag Ban

The production of bags and their distribution to customers at the point of sale has had significant impacts on the environment. Chapter 9, Article 9 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu regulates the types of bags provided to customers on O`ahu, effective July 1, 2015. The City and County of Honolulu (City) passed this bag ban to preserve the health, safety, welfare, and scenic and natural beauty of our island, and to reduce the volume of bags that are disposed of as solid waste. The City's Department of Environmental Services is assigned the responsibility to implement and enforce this bag ban.

Overview
Effective July 1, 2015Ordinance 12-8 prohibited businesses from providing plastic checkout bags and non-recyclable paper bags to their customers at the point of sale for the purpose of transporting groceries or other merchandise.

Effective July 1, 2015Ordinance 14-29 amended the plastic bag ban to include a new definition for "Compostable Plastic Bag" to apply a standard to the decomposition of compostable plastic bags. The amendment also included a revision to the definition of "Plastic Bag".

Effective July 1, 2018, Ordinance 17-37 amended the plastic bag ban. Businesses are required to charge customers a minimum of 15 cents per reusable, compostable plastic or recyclable paper bag they provide to customers at the point of sale for the purpose of transporting groceries or other merchandise. Also included in this amendment is a requirement that, effective January 1, 2020, plastic film bags with a thickness of 10 mils or less shall no longer be considered "reusable bags", and compostable plastic bags shall no longer be provided.

Effective January 1, 2021 (extended to April 1, 2021), the Disposable Food Ware Ordinance amended the plastic bag ban definitions of both "plastic checkout bag" and "plastic film bag," which revised the bag exemptions. The amendment also included a new definition for "plastic."

Plastic Bag Ban Effective January 1, 2020

Resources

Bring Your Own Bag
Keep forgetting your bags? Use our Bring Your Own Bag sticker as a reminder, and stash reusable bags in convenient grab-and-go locations like by the door, near keys, or in your car. Foldable bags can be stored easily in your backpack or purse. Washing reusable bags regularly is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic; be sure to use soap and the warmest appropriate water setting, and then dry completely.

BYOB Sticker

If you need assistance or are interested in distributing BYOB reminder stickers, contact the City's Recycling Branch at businessrecycle@honolulu.gov or (808) 768-3200 ext. 6.


© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.