Hawaii County acting Mayor Dixie Kaetsu has vetoed a measure passed last month that would have banned plastic bags on the Big Island of Hawaii.
``It is better to work to change people's hearts so they change their own behavior rather than outlawing a commodity that many people find useful,'' Kaetsu said in a letter to the Hawaii County council. ``If we focus on educating our residents about the benefits of reusable bags along with proper disposal of plastic bags, we will change attitudes and behaviors.''
San Francisco remains the only U.S. city with a plastic bag ban currently in effect.
Three other plastic bag bans are scheduled to take effect over the next five months, but one of them faces a court challenge.
A prohibition in Malibu, Calif., is planned to go into effect Dec. 26 and a law in Westport, Conn., is slated to take effect March 2.
A plastics bag ban set to go into effect Feb. 14 in Manhattan Beach, Calif., has been challenged in court. A 20 cent tax on disposable, single-use plastic and paper bags in Seattle that would have been effective Jan. 1, has been delayed because of a petition drive that will place the issue on the ballot for a vote.
A ban on plastic bags approved last month in Maui County in Hawaii which includes the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai will take effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Suffolk County in New York has a public hearing scheduled Oct. 14 on its proposed plastic bag ban in advance of a possible vote Nov. 10, and the California cities of Palo Alto and Encinitas are developing measures, expected to be introduced in November, to ban plastic bags.
Meanwhile on Sept. 25, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it was setting a goal to cut customer plastic bag use 33 percent by 2013.