Google+

Plastic Shopping Bags Out in Hawaii

Perhaps because of their proximity to what has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Hawaiians have voted to ban the use of plastic shopping bags throughout the state by 2015.

This month, Honolulu County became the final county in the island state to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags at shopping centers. Voters also approved the ban of paper bags that did not contain at least 40 percent recycled material.

Officials said the 2015 deadline will allow local retailers and shoppers the time to make the appropriate changes.

“(The deadline) gives us plenty of time to get ready,” Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle told MSNBC. “Retailers will be able to use up their inventory of bags and make arrangements to educate the public on the importance of bringing their own bag.”

The movement to ban the bags was driven in part by the Sierra Club, a national conservation group, and the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental group focused on protecting the oceans. The local chapters of both groups organized rallies and raised awareness for the cause on both a state and county level.

“We also lobbied extensively for statewide legislation, which failed, but it helped direct attention to the issue and eventually got the last county to take action,” Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club’s Hawaii chapter, told MSNBC’s Miguel Llanos.

“Being a marine state, perhaps, we are exposed more directly to the impacts of plastic pollution and the damage it does to our environment,” Harris said in explaining the support in all four counties. “People in Hawaii are more likely to be in the water or in the outdoors and see the modern day tumbleweed — plastic bags — in the environment.”

A bill that was passing through the state legislature would have charged shoppers 10 cents per plastic bag used, but the bill lost momentum earlier this month, just two weeks after being introduced. A statewide ban of the plastic bags also recently failed in California, according to Harris.

Hawaii’s ban comes just after a report earlier this month from the Scripps Institute that showed plastic trash has been accumulating in the Pacific Ocean at an alarming rate. A region in the northern Pacific has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch because of the millions a bits of trash swirling about in the ocean currents there. The area this trash covers has increased by 100 times in size over the past 40 years, the report said. Researchers found the flotilla of trash is having a significant and measurable impact on the creatures living in that area.

While the Garbage Patch could explain Hawaii’s motivation in enacting the ban, experts aren’t predicting the floating trash heap will motivate the rest of the country to take similar actions. Many feel the plastics industry is too entrenched with their many lobbyists for state or national politicians to take up the cause.

The most likely lesson to learn from the Honolulu County ban is that it’s easier for activists to ban the use of plastic bags incrementally at the local level.

Source: Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com

Source: redOrbit (http://s.tt/1cjgF)

Entertainment

For movies opening December 9, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening December 9, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Bounce Back (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and brief drug use) Romantic comedy about a charismatic relationship guru (Shemar Moore) who falls in love with a skeptical fellow therapist (Nadine Velazquez) he meets while on a book tour promoting his new best seller. Supporting cast … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Paging Norman Rockwell

  Paging Norman Rockwell by Amy Lignor   For those who may not have had the pleasure before – and all you true Christmas “classic” lovers who have always wanted to see it – Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is the most brilliant and beautiful place during the holiday season. Made famous by the original Norman Rockwell, whose museum is part of the line of historic buildings making up that classic Main Street, Stockbridge is dressed up … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Winterization Tips from Yamaha Outboards

  Winterization Tips from Yamaha Outboards By Craig Lamb Every hardcore angler wants to go fishing at the first sign of warm weather in spring. The last thing any fisherman wants is cutting a trip short because of mechanical problems with an outboard engine.   The best way to avoid problems, and enjoy trouble-free time on the water, is by preparing ahead of time. That begins now. Preparing for extended storage efficiently and effectively … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

We Are Still…All in This Together!

  We Are Still…All in This Together! by Amy Lignor   December 7, 1941. Sunday morning was lovely on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. A typical Sunday, in fact, where people were moving calmly and in a relaxed “weekend-mode” stance at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Headquarters. Just before the clocks struck 8:00 a.m., however, the country of Japan launched planes from six aircraft carriers in what would be considered the “first wave” of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]