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Paper or Plastic? No longer a choice on Maui

This question will no longer be asked on Maui, once the new ordinance goes into effect banning the use of plastic bags at checkouts throughout Maui County.  Maui County includes the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

The new county ordinance is scheduled to take effect January 11, 2011, once Mayor Tavares signs off on it.  However, apparently, Mayor Tavares will not be in office on the 11th.

Once the mayor does sign off on the ordinance, it will be submitted to the County Clerk for recording and will  take effect 10 days later.

The intent of the bill is to encourage the use of re-usable shopping bags and to eliminate waste and environmental hazards to fish and wildlife of improperly disposed of plastic bags.

Violators of this new ordinance will face a civil fine of $500, which may be assessed for each day the ordinance is ignored.  For repeat offenders or those who chose to ignore the new ordinance, fines increase to $1000 daily starting on the 31st day of such violation.

Do you part in helping the environment and bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping.  It may take a while to remember, but eventually, you’ll get in the habit.

Did you know that the average American uses 300 to 700 plastic bags annually?  In the US alone, we use over 30 Million plastic grocery bags a year.

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