Mayor Signs Bill to Ban Plastic Bags

Among the 4 bills signed into law this month, the mayor decided to ban plastic bags. Ordinance 17-37 (Bill 59) will put a permanent ban on plastic bags given or sold to customers at the check-out line at business establishments.

There will be exemptions on plastic bag use within a store or other business for specific uses:

  • Bags used by customers inside a business to package loose items,
    such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, ground coffee, grains, candies, or
    small hardware items:
  • Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish, flowers or
    potted plants, or other items to contain dampness;
  • Bags used to protect or transport prepared foods, beverages, or
    bakery goods;
  • Bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription medications;
  • Newspaper bags for home newspaper delivery:

Read the bill to get the entire list of plastic bag exemptions.

This is the latest law signed by the mayor that is anti-business and anti-consumer.

Another bill signed by the mayor into law is one that bans the use of electronic devices (Ordinance 17-39 / Bill 6 – 2017) by pedestrians while in a crosswalk. It is similar to a law that bans motorists from using a device while driving.

The latest list of bills signed into law by the mayor is listed below:

2017 Ordinances

Ordinance 17-37 – Relating to bags provided to customers.

Ordinance 17-38 – Relating the maintenance of channels, streambeds, streambanks and drainageways.

Ordinance 17-39 – Relating to mobile electronic devices.

Ordinance 17-40 – Relating to the Land Use Ordinance.

Ordinance 17-40 [Bill 79 (2015), CD2] – To amend Chapter 21, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu 1990, as amended (The Land Use Ordinance), relating to the Land Use Ordinance.


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.