The Big Island is taking an important step toward a complete ban on plastic shopping bags next year.
As of Thursday, West Hawaii Today reports that most retail outlets will begin charging for plastic bags, and many retailers are offering an incentive. They will be offering a few cents off for each reusable bag that customers provide.
Big Island supermarket KTA wants to go beyond the county ban set for Jan. 2014. By this time next year it wants to ban all single-use grocery bags, including brown paper bags.
The company says on the Big Island alone more than 723 tons of paper grocery bags are used each year. The company says production of those paper bags requires the cutting down of 12,000 trees.