Use of plastic bags reduced, but not banned

While I agree with the message and spirit of the Jan. 7 editorial, “Bag ban’s anniversary,” lauding the success of a much-needed county ordinance, I have to challenge the language, explicitly the repeated use of the word “ban.”

There is no ban on plastic bags. The law was called a reduction, not a ban, and that is exactly the result. The law prohibited a single type of plastic bag, granted likely the one with the most obvious negative effect.

If you think plastic bags are banned, try to return home from shopping for a sizable order and having no plastic bags. Loaf of bread – in plastic bag. Fresh produce? Same. Frozen produce, in fact most anything frozen, more plastic bags. Many cheeses, nuts, candies are in plastic bags. And if they are not in plastic bags, they are in plastic containers.

And we are just discussing food products. How many cannot be recycled here on Maui so, at best, they choke the ever-filling landfill or are discarded and end up in the ocean and the Pacific garbage patch continues to grow?

So, yes, this plastic bag reduction bill was a good first step but, after two years, let’s imua. How else can we reduce the need for so much plastic? I don’t expect we can ever ban it, but let’s see how much we can reduce it. The aina and kai need us to do this for our own survival.

Mike Moran