Under parameters of the bill, business caught using non-biodegradable plastic bags would face fines of $100 to $1,000 per day. Violations would be reported to the city's Department of Environmental Services.
Both Maui and Kauai counties already have plastic bag bans in place. Hawaii County's ban is scheduled to take effect January 17 of next year. Some retailers on Maui and Kauai offer their customers recyclable paper bags for about five cents each.
Bob Guitierrez, the government affairs director for Times and Big Save supermarkets, told Honolulu City council members that providing paper bags on Maui and Kauai has cost each store an average of $30,000 per year. So far, the supermarkets have absorbed most of the cost, but that is likely to change.
"At some point or another, the consumer is impacted by that, just by the cost of doing business," said Guitierrez.