Coast Guard base exchange to ban plastic bags and incandescent bulbs

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard is making great strides this spring in an effort to green its main base here.

The service’s base exchange at the Integrated Support Command (ISC), Honolulu, will begin phasing out plastic bags and incandescent bulbs in March. It will convert to cloth and paper bags, and will only stock high efficiency light bulbs. Consumers will be invited and reminded to bring cloth bags to the exchange, but for a short time, cloth bags will be given away as a promotion.

“If you see a plastic bag in the water, it won’t be from our facility,” said Capt. John Hickey, the ISC Commanding Officer. “We are working hard on energy conservation and renewable energy solutions, and we are reducing the amount of solid waste that we create. The stakes are high in Hawaii, and we are going to do our share.

“Plastic bags end up in the ocean, collect on beaches and pose problems for marine life.”

Personnel assigned to Hickey’s base, and with the tenant commands that reside there, often volunteer on beach clean ups in the community. The Coast Guard also assists the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration with marine debris clean up trips in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

“It just makes sense,” said Geoff Salberg, the West Coast Regional Manager of the Coast Guard Exchange at the ISC. “Coasties are underway each month on missions to protect and preserve the marine environment and we are proud to contribute to this effort.”

The Coast Guard Exchange and Marine Corps Base Hawaii Exchange store in Kaneohe are among the first military bases in Hawaii to ban plastic bags in the Aloha State.

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