Why is KTA / WVM no longer offering plastic grocery bags?
KTA/WVM is following the new Hawai`i County plastic bag reduction ordinance prohibiting plastic bag use at the checkout, after 1/17/2014.
The new law only prohibits plastic grocery bags, so why is KTA/WVM charging for paper bags?
KTA/WVM sees the new ordinance as a great way to really do our part to help the environment. We’re very excited about our 2014 goal to reduce or eliminate disposable (single use) paper and plastic grocery bags for good. We hope that requiring a fee for both paper and plastic bags will remind customers to transition to reusable bags.
We want to avoid simply switching from plastic bags to paper bags since this is not a long-term solution to preserve our `aina. Paper bags can cause 70% more air pollution to produce than plastic bags and leads to deforestation. Annually, Hawai`i Island uses more than 1.4 million pounds of paper bags that require 13,000 trees to be cut down.
How much is the grocery bag deposit?
The most commonly used paper grocery bags will have a fee of 5¢ each* until supplies run out. No deposits are required for plastic produce bags.
*Plus any applicable sales tax
Is there a benefit to re-use my bags?
Simply bring back your KTA/WVM bag, reusable bag, or even bags from other stores and use them during your next grocery visit. If we use your bags in packaging their purchases, we will issue you a credit for each bag used per our ongoing reuse bag incentive program.
Small plastic bags (w/ handles) = 3¢ credit
Medium paper bags = 3¢ credit
Larger plastic bags (w/ handles) = 5¢ credit
Large paper bags / Reusable bags = 5¢ credit
Is there a minimum amount of items that need to be purchased in order to receive the credit?
KTA/WVM will continue its standard bagging procedures. There is no minimum purchase necessary to receive the credit. Generally speaking, however, if customers purchase multiple items that are difficult to carry without a bag, we will be happy to provide a credit for any bag they reuse, or offer them the option to pay the fee and receive single-use paper bags (or plastic bags, while supplies last) to hold their purchases.
Do I need to pay the fee if I don’t want any bags?
No. You not required to use grocery bags when shopping. You can leave the checkout carrying your purchases in hand or have them placed back into your shopping cart (including liquor, beer, and wine products) for carryout to your vehicle.
How did KTA/WVM determine its fee amounts?
The 3¢ and 5¢ fee coincides with our reuse bag incentive program already in existence at all KTA and WVM locations.
Why are reusable bags better for the environment than paper and plastic bags?
Reducing and eliminating both paper and plastic “single-use” bags by 2014 is KTA’s/WVM’s effort to help preserve our `aina for our children and future generations. The transition to reusable bags from single-use disposable paper and plastic bags reduces litter, reduces trash in landfills, conserves precious natural resources and keeps our `aina and ocean clean. In fact, over our lifetime the use of a reusable bag by just one person would eliminate 22,000 plastic bags.
A growing trend among grocery stores across the country as well as internationally is the move toward reusable bags rather than disposable, single-use plastic or paper bags.
Does KTA/WVM still offer paper bags since plastic bags have been permanently banned from January 2014?
Our goal is to get all of our customers into the habit of bringing in their reusable bags by next year. However, we will closely monitor throughout the year to see if there is a need for paper bags and will make a final determination as our paper bag supplies deminish.
Where can I get more information if I have further questions?
For more information on the Hawai`i County Plastic Bag Reduction ordinance, visit www.hawaiizerowaste.org. You can also look at our website to learn more about this and other ways KTA/WVM is working to help protect our environment. A flyer explaining our Ho`ohana Hou inititiative is available for download below:
Or visit any of our customer service centers at any of our stores to speak to one of our friendly associates in person.