Single Use Plastic Bag at Wal-Mart

The town’s legislative body passed its version of a plastic bag ban, a law that has becomes largely ceremonial in light of the state legislature passing its version that will start its impact in August.

The local ordinance passed without objection, and only one abstention.

In committee, there was debate on the matter of local retailers charging for paper bags, as Republicans wanted to use the word “may,” allowing but not demanding, retailers charge for paper bag use. The current wording was proposed by majority leader Ray Ingraham and passed the committee across party lines.

Republicans favored giving retailers the option to charge or not, and a mandated charge to consumers would likely have meant the bill would fail. Realizing this, there was little debate on the matter on the floor of the RTM.

State law added a provision that local municipalities can pass plastic bag bans as long as they were not less stringent than the state.

For all statewide retailers, including in Branford, state law requires a 10-cent charge on all single use plastic bags distributed starting in August.

Local law will kick in 6 months from the implementation of the local ordinance. Essentially, that means the start of 2020. At that point, single use plastic bags will not be allowed by retailers in Branford.

The 6 month delay was meant to give local retailers an opportunity to use the current stock of plastic bags before transitioning to paper or single use bags. 

The ban includes any event that takes place on town property. For example, vendors at the Branford Festival or other events will not be allowed to distribute single use plastic bags next summer.

Locally, a first offense will see a warning, a second will result in a $150 fine, a third a $150 fine and 8 hours of community service, and every subsequent violation another $150 fine.

The local effort was spearheaded by a Bring Your Own group led by Meg Kilgore. Over time, multiple local groups joined in as the push was on locally and statewide.

The local law allows retailers to charge for distribution of single use paper bags, something meant to strongly encourage residents to bring their own reusable bags for shopping. Retailers may charge up to 10 cents per bag, that amount can increase another 5 cents every 5 years, up to a maximum of 25 cents. Residents who are on food stamps or other state aid are exempt from the charge.

Many local retailers, like Carons Corner, have already begun the transition and do not offer plastic bags. 

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(15) comments

Sailsalot

Great, now, Meg Kilgore, can start a new movement to ban paper bags. Save the trees, Meg.

Guest

This reminds me of the attempt to ban all incandescent light bulbs by the end of 2010. Noble sentiment....ignoring that the alternatives are not necessarily any better. Of course, the light bulb ban was repealed once people realized that the alternative was hazardous when it broke. The problems with alternatives in this case are more indirect yet no less real. Lots of people just stocked up on a large supply of incandescent bulbs. In this case, we'll probably just save a bunch of these plastic bags, and just bring them to the stores with us when they shop. The convenience is very nice. Calling them "single use" is laughable, most people use them at least twice OR they bring them to the store for recycling.

Guest

As a retailer I can tell you that SOME use the plastic bags more than once. MOST haven’t a care what happens to that bag as soon as the purchased merchandise is removed from it. Many claim to use it a 2nd time for cat litter disposal, bottom line....what becomes of that plastic once it is no longer useful to the consumer? I think we all know the answer to that question and it’s not good. Taking the plastic bags completely out of circulation is the only answer.

Guest

Yes but I’d say most people save their plastic bags for bathroom pail liners too

Guest

Cross contamination of Chicken Juices etc, with the dirty carry in bags will be epic. Expect the 1st salmonella cases will reverse this progressive liberal nonsense.

Guest

We use every “single use” bag a second time as a garbage bag or to dispose doggie poo. Once that become unavailable, we will purchase plastic bags by the box for the same purpose. Those bags are much thicker, use more petroleum to manufacture and are worse for the environment than the freebies that we currently use. But, the good news is that Stop & Shop will save a bundle while inconveniencing their customers and will also profit from selling plastic bags by the box full.

Guest

I have already bought a case of my own grocery store bags from Store supply warehouse. No way am I using the nasty germ ridden reusable ones

Guest

Flush your doggie poo. Plastic bags wind up in the stomachs of marine animals. When they are gone, you will be too.

Guest

I am unsure of the specific problem this ban is to solve?? Yes, Yes, Yes I am familiar with the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. We life on a road that is, unfortunately, the access point to a larger residential neighborhood. We are plagued with picking litter from our lawn; but, I do not ever remember ever picking up a plastic grocery bag. What Do we pickup the most? Returnable Beer Bottles & Cans, those bottles and cans with deposits (No, we don’t return them, they go in the trash). Bottles & Cans also an occasional McD take out meal bag & containers, but no plastic grocery bags.

Guest

Liberals don't solve problems, they only give the appearance of solving problems , even if they don't exist.

Guest

👍

LoveBranford

Kudos to Branford. Travel around the globe and most other countries (once again) are far ahead of us in banning plastic bags. Once you get use to bringing reusable bags to shop, you realize it's just as easy and bags are more reliable. REDUCE! Help your environment, help local business.

Guest

Ban everything. Make a liberal happy.

Guest

Don't forget to ban disposable diapers.......

Guest

About the only thing that Democrats do not want to ban are disposable unborn children....

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