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Commissaries starting to ban single-use shopping bags

Pictured is the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii commissary. Disposable carryout bags will no longer be available at Hawaii commissaries effective April 30, 2024. Photo credit: DeCA

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ORT GREGG-ADAMS, Va. - Commissaries on Hawaii will no longer issue single-use shopping bags starting in April, as the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) follows local laws to reduce waste and protect the environment, the agency announced.

In accordance with the state of Hawaii Ordinance 19-30 signed Dec. 15, 2019, disposable carryout bags will no longer be available at Hawaii commissaries effective April 30, 2024.

Commissaries here in Washington state could be next. Like Hawaii, California and other states, single-use bags in this area have also been phased out, except for purchase. The release did not state if bags will be available at a charge.

"DeCA is committed to complying with applicable local, territorial and state laws restricting the use of plastic and paper single-use bags," said John Hall, DeCA Director and CEO. "We plan to implement a phased approach to eliminate single-use bags that takes into account our patrons' needs and logistical limitations. Over the years DeCA has been a leader in energy, water and solid waste reduction, as well as implementing a robust recycling program to help protect the environment."

Commissary customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags from home or purchase reusable or hot/cold bags from the selection available at each store. DeCA will post signs with more details in the Hickam Air Force Base, Pearl Harbor, Kaneohe Bay and Schofield Barracks commissaries to keep patrons informed.

DeCA remains dedicated to environmental stewardship, reducing its ecological footprint, and complying with applicable environmental laws and regulations. DeCA's approach to eliminating non-reusable bags in all four Hawaii commissaries takes into account its patrons' needs, as well as various contractual, fiscal, statutory and operational requirements.

Elimination of single-use bags will be a major shift in commissary patron shopping habits, and DeCA will address potential concerns during the transition process. DeCA will also provide additional resources toward education and awareness to ease the transition.

For more information on DeCA's environmental programs, visit  for the latest updates.

Ranger staff contributed to this story

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