Plastic Bag Bans Update

About a year ago, Hawaii passed an initiative to ban the use of single-use plastic bags from retail stores for a “greener” existence. Hawaii, being the only state to do a state-wide ban, is setting an example for the rest of its fellow states. California is next in-line for these single-use plastic bags getting banned. However the entire state didn’t ban them, Los Angeles has become the biggest city in the entire country to ban free plastic bags in retail stores. With many areas banning the use of these bags, it’s only a matter of time before states catch on and begin banning the use on a state level.

Not only are single-use plastic bags being banned from retailers and grocers, the law also features a 10-cent fee for papers bags. There will be up to a $500 fine if stores defy the ban and continue to use single-use bags. This is implemented to encourage shoppers to buy reusable shopping bags such as fabric totes and heavier gauge plastic bags meeting code requirements. The majority of plastic bags are manufactured from non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, and roughly 70 percent of them wind up in landfills or litter the streets. The only businesses who would be exempt from this ban are nonprofit companies, restaurants, thrift stores and delis. However, plastic bags thicker than 2.25 mils are still going to be allowed.

The idea of banning single-use plastic bags isn’t new. In fact, several other cities in California, Alaska, Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut and other locations have all placed initiatives and bans on plastic bags to help clean up our environment. It seems in time, there will be more cities and states added to this list. Losing the single-use bag may seem as an inconvenience but we are actually behind compared to other countries in this movement. Since China has placed their ban on plastic bags, they have claimed to have dropped plastic bag usage by over 60 percent and saved an estimated 1.6 million tons of petroleum in the process.

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It’s inevitable that businesses are going to have to address the issue of utilizing more reusable bags in their stores as a convenience for the customer as the idea of this ban spreads to more cities and states. So, instead of using the generic single-use bag for your business, you can have a custom-designed tote bag for your customers to purchase. A bag with your personalized logo and design can make your company stand out above the competition. Contact Morgan Chaney at to see examples of Packaging That People Notice®.