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By Tanya Lewis|   February 11, 2014.

Plastic bags are the modern environmental scourge — piling up in landfills, polluting the oceans and choking wildlife. Now, Hawaii has taken a stand by becoming the first U.S. state to ban plastic bags at checkout counters.

Hawaii has always valued the land, or "Aina," so the step isn't too surprising. Four of the state's five counties have passed plastic bag bans (Hawaii's Kalawao County, the only outlier, is hardly populated), the Huffington Post reported. "Being a marine state, perhaps, we are exposed more directly to the impacts of plastic pollution and the damage it does to our environment," Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii chapter, said in 2012, according to the Huffington Post. Read more at