Kokua Line: Oahu’s bag ban expands Jan. 1, and affected businesses can’t waive fee
Question: I was wondering, with the stores charging 15 cents if the customer requires a bag, where does the money go?
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Question: I was wondering, with the stores charging 15 cents if the customer requires a bag, where does the money go? I have asked at many stores, and the employees and/or owners say they do not know. Does it go to the store or to the state? If the money is going back to the business, can the business elect to not collect the 15 cents? Can they waive the fee and give the bag for free? When will this law be removed?
Answer: The money collected goes to the business; the fee is not a tax kept by the city (or the state). No, if this city law applies, the business cannot decide on its own to ignore the mandate, which requires Oahu businesses to charge a minimum of 15 cents per bag if they provide the customer a carrying bag at point of sale, with some exemptions.
We’ve seen no indication this municipal ordinance will be repealed; in fact, it is due to expand Jan. 1.
Currently, businesses may sell reusable bags, compostable plastic bags or recyclable paper bags to carry groceries or other merchandise. However, effective Jan. 1, compostable plastic bags will no longer be allowed, and plastic film bags made out of thin flexible sheets of plastic with a thickness of 10 mils or less will no longer be considered reusable bags, the city’s Department of Environmental Services explains on its website. As always, customers may bring their own bags.
You can read the law at 808ne.ws/bagbanlaw and read about exemptions and others details at 808ne.ws/bagex, on the department’s website, opala.org.
To answer other readers’ questions: This law and the 15-cent bag fee associated with it do not apply to businesses operating on federal property, such as military bases.
Q: What happened to Moanike‘ala Nabarro? I haven’t seen her on KITV in a while.
A: The former reporter and anchor for KITV4 Island News has joined the University of Hawaii communications team, which manages online, video and print communication for the university system.
“We are excited to have Moani join the UH Office of Communications. She is a proud UH Manoa graduate, and her skills as a journalist and communicator will serve her. She joins our team of content producers for the universityʻs news platform, UHNews.org, which will be her primary role. At some point in the future, she will also assist with the spokesperson responsibilities,” said Dan Meisenzahl, director of the UH Office of Communications.
Nabarro previously co- anchored KITV’s 5 p.m. newscast, along with handling other duties and assignments. Her last day with KITV was Nov. 22, said news director Janice S. Gin. She had been off the air before that, as you and other readers noticed, and started at UH last week.
In other broadcasting news, David “Davey D” Daniels has switched from radio to TV. He’s now the traffic reporter for KITV’s “Good Morning Hawaii,” Mondays through Fridays, having left the morning radio show “Hammer Time!” on Krater 96 (KRTR-FM).
Last month as I was ordering takeout at the Panda Express drive-thru in Moanalua, a very kind auntie in front of me paid for my meal. I was pleasantly surprised when the server said “no charge,” and thought she was joking. I just wanted to shout out a big mahalo to this auntie for her generosity and kind-hearted gesture. I hope all good things follow her for the rest of her blessed life. — In appreciation, G.W.
Thank you to the nice couple in the dark SUV who gave me a ride home with my heavy groceries from Times Kahala on Nov. 8 at 1:30 p.m. They were very pleasant, and their kind act saved me from walking six blocks. — Most appreciative walker
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.