Bag ban’s anniversary

This week Maui marks the second anniversary of the implementation of the county’s ban on plastic bags. The ban took effect on Jan. 11, 2011.

We’d remind citizens to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store. Most stores now have paper bags, but those bags are expensive and they will end up in our landfill.

Many public-spirited organizations passed out reusable bags during the last year. Retailers all over Maui have them available for purchase.

Just a few of things to remember about the ban:

1. Be sure if you carry any meat, dairy or fresh vegetable products in your bags to thoroughly clean them before you reuse them. Food-borne bacteria can live in them if there is any leakage.

2. If you have any extra bags, the county suggests that you “pay it forward” by giving them to friends or neighbors.

3. Businesses and consumers had 2 1/2 years after the County Council passed the bill to prepare for the ban. Make it part of your day to have a reusable bag in your car.

The bill to ban plastic bags passed the council unanimously. It reflected an acknowledgment that plastic bags are extremely harmful to the environment – killing animals, filling up landfills, and creating a gigantic plastic garbage heap in the Pacific Ocean.

So, let’s take pride in the fact that we as a community are doing something to help the environment.

(Portions of this editorial have appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.