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Written by Mat McDermott.  TreeHugger. May 16, 2012

While there are plenty of bans on plastic bags at the city level in the US, with the approval of a ban of plastic bags at point of sale in Honolulu county, Hawaii becomes the first state in the nation to have outlawed plastic bags at every locale in the state.

Sort of.

Surfrider is cheering the move, which bans all non-recyclable paper bags and all non-biodegradable plastic bags at store checkout counters, effective July 1, 2015. But based on KHON 2‘s reporting on what sorts of plastic bags will still be allowed, under exemption, it’s not hardly a total ban on plastic bags at all.

Here’s what will still be allowed after the law goes into effect:

  • Bags used by customers inside a business to package loose items, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, ground coffee, grains, candies or small hardware items.
  • Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, flowers or potted plants, or other items to contain dampness.
  • Bags used to protect or transport prepared foods, beverages, or bakery goods.
  • Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription medications.
  • Newspaper bags for home newspaper delivery.
  • Door-hanger bags.
  • Laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bags, including bags provided by hotels to guests to contain wet or dirty clothing.
  • Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags.
  • Bags used to contain live animals such as fish or insects sold in pet stores.
  • Bags used to transport chemical pesticides, drain-cleaning chemicals, or other caustic chemicals sold at retail level, provided that this exemption shall be limited to one bag per customer.
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