Green in the Bag

As plastic bags get banned, you’ll have to tote alternatives.

“Aloha” totes from Green Bags Hawaii are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable and made in Hawaii ($9.99) C-Mui Center, 1111 Bethel St., 536-4712; ($10.49) Haleiwa Supermarket, 66-197 Kamehameha Highway, 637-5004 or  

My Tote bags have a water-resistant liner for swimsuits and toiletries ($28.) Red-Pineapple, Ward Centre, 593-2733 or

Seventh Generation tall kitchen bags are made of 55 percent recycled plastic ($6.89).  Down to Earth, 2525 S. King St., 947-7678 or

In August, the Maui county council passed a bill that bans any store or business—mom and pops, restaurants and hotels included—from distributing plastic bags. Councilmember Michael Molina introduced the legislation “to reduce a litter nuisance, protect marine and wildlife from entanglement and ingestion and prevent plastic bags from causing a visual blight on our environment.”

The law goes into effect Jan. 11, 2011, and it’s the first of its kind for the state.

On the Big Island, a similar bill made it past the Hawaii County Council, but Acting Mayor Dixie Kaetsu vetoed it in September. Oahu’s plastic bag ban passed its first reading in December and was sent to the city’s Planning and Sustainability Committee.  The bill was deferred in early February and no action has taken place since. Who needs laws anyway? Here are five alternatives that will cut down your plastic bag consumption today.

Project Kool cotton canvas lunch bags are machine washable and come with fabric markers ($9.99).  Whole Foods. Kahala Mall, 738-0820 or



BioBags are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable and made from cornstarch, vegetable oil and other renewable resources.  BioBag Cat ($6.15), BioBag Dog ($6.05), BioBag Garden ($5.15), Kale’s Natural Foods, Hawaii Kai Shopping Center, 396-6993 or