Single-Use Bag Fee FAQ

Why is KTA no longer offering plastic grocery bags?

KTA is following the Hawai‘i County plastic bag reduction ordinance prohibiting plastic bag use at the checkout, since 1/17/2014.

The law only prohibits plastic grocery bags, so why is KTA charging for paper bags?

KTA sees the ordinance as a great way to really do our part to help the environment. 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 bag, reusable bag, or even bags from other stores and use them during your next grocery visit. If we use your bags in packaging those 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 continues 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 to hold their purchases.

Do I need to pay the fee if I don’t want any bags?

No. You are 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 determine its fee amounts?

The 3¢ and 5¢ fee coincides with our reuse bag incentive program already in existence at all KTA locations.

Why are reusable bags better for the environment than paper and plastic bags?

Reducing and eliminating both paper and plastic “single-use” bags is KTA’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 still offer paper bags since plastic bags have been permanently banned since January 2014?

Our goal is to get all of our customers into the habit of bringing in their reusable bags. However, we still offer paper bags for the convenience of our customers.

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. Or visit a Customer Service Centers at any of our stores to speak to one of our friendly associates in person.