- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Oahu will become the last county in Hawaii to enact a ban on plastic shopping bags. The new law takes effect on July 1.

Retailers can still provide recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags and reusable bags, including those made of thicker plastic, HawaiiNewsNow reported (http://bit.ly/1GFV3hE ).

That hasn’t stopped some residents — even supporters of the ban — from stocking up on usual plastic kind.

“I think it’s a good idea, personally, environmentally, but I think it’s going to be real humbug for a while, getting used to different types of other bags, bringing your own,” said Mililani resident Mary Roy.

The target store in Kailua has only offered reusable bags since it opened in March. Shoppers can either buy a cloth bag or bring their own.

The store’s executive team leader, Shea Ledbetter, says shoppers can save five cents each one of Target’s cloth bags they use.

Other Hawaii counties are ahead of Honolulu on the transition to reusable bags. Big Island banned the plastic kind in 2013, while they were outlawed on Kauai and Maui four years ago.

Officials in those counties told HawaiiNewsNow that while they warned some violators, no retailers were fined because they made the necessary changes.

On Oahu, fines will start at $100 per day and can reach up to $1,000 for repeat offenders.

“Aesthetically, it’s going to be a big step and also environmentally, in terms of protecting our best resources we have here in Hawaii,” said Rafael Bergstrom, the Surfrider Foundation’s Oahu Chapter coordinator.

“While there are loopholes,” said Bergstrom, “over time, I think people will understand the reasons why this is happening.”

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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