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County Touts Plastic Bag Bill At Film Fest

October 22, 2013, 1:00 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:57 PM
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The County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management will be at the Palace Theatre Thursday, Oct. 24, before and after the showing of “Plastic Paradise, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” at 7:30 p.m., to talk to filmgoers about the County’s Plastic Bag Reduction Act.

The 57-minute film, part of the Hawaii International Film Festival, sheds light on the growing amount of plastic in the ocean and its effect on the planet.

The county’s Plastic Bag Reduction Act went into effect in January and has encouraged a significant shift away from plastic toward the use of reusable bags at local stores, said Greg Goodale, the County’s Solid Waste Division Chief.

Since the ordinance went into effect, surveys have shown that up to 70 percent of customers are bringing their own resuable bags when they shop, Goodale said.

Since January, stores have been required to charge customers for plastic bags. Beginning this Jan. 17, 2014, the ordinance will prohibit stores from selling or providing plastic checkout bags altogether.

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DEM representatives will be on hand for an hour prior to the film and for one-half hour afterward to answer questions about the county’s efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags on the island.

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DEM also will provide one reusable shopping bag in exchange for five single-use plastic or paper checkout bags. Only one per person, however. A county release also promises a visit by the “Plastic Bag Monster.”

For details about the County’s Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance and rules, go to the Hawaii Zero Waste web site.

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