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This month, Hawaii became the first state in the US to outright ban plastic bags. They also banned paper bags that don’t have a minimum of 40% recycled content.
This one action will keep about 450 million bags a year out of the state’s waste stream and prevent them from ending up in the ocean.
The proposal was led by the Sierra Club chapter and the Surfrider Foundation. Along with the plastic ban, the groups expect a small fee on paper bags to be implemented. A 10-cent fee would raise $20 million a year which would go toward restoring and protecting watersheds and rainforest areas that get trampled by non-native animals such as goats and pigs.
Hawaii’s action comes on the heels of a plastic ban in Los Angeles and about a dozen California municipalities.
Check out a video about plastic bans on the Documentary Channel here.