Reusable Bag Reminder

Sign in the window at grocery store Carons Corner reminding patrons to bring reusable bags. Carons Corner has already eliminated single use plastic bags in their store ahead of a potential new ordinance in Branford and the state.

A potential law banning single use plastics bags is moving forward in Branford, even as the state looks at creating its own law.

The local ordinance passed the Rules and Ordinances Committee with a 5-1 vote last month. There was strong bipartisan support for the measure, but there was a difference of opinion on whether retail stores were required to charge a fee for paper bags or simply had the option to do so.

Republican majority leader Ray Ingraham made a motion to keep it as an option, and not a requirement, and that wording is now included in the proposed ordinance.

Currently, the law is undergoing legal review by the town attorney, and will likely see the floor of the full Representative Town Meeting in June.

However, the state is also working on a plastic bag law. With the state session ending in 4 weeks, a state law may preempt any local ordinance.

Under the local law, retail businesses, any town event or event held on town property, like the annual Festival, would be barred from using plastic bags. Exceptions to this would include packaging of meats and fish, dry cleaning, and small bags for small hardware items.

The law allows, but does not requires, stores to charge a fee of 10 cents per paper bag, and that amount can increase by 5 cents annually, up to a maximum of 25 cents. However senior customers or customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or ‘food stamps,’ would be exempt from the fee.

An initial violation of the ordinance would result in a warning, a second occurrence would result in a $150 fine. The rule would be enforced by the police department, and the Board of Selectmen would be able to designate an enforcement officer.

Overall, the goal is to change the behavior of retail customers, encouraging them to avoid both plastic and paper bags and instead keep and use reusable bags for shopping needs.

(14) comments

Guest

Welcome to the liberal nanny state. The goal is to control YOUR behavior, even though they can't control the behavior of their kids.

Guest

yep.. control, control, control.. You WILL Conform with their way of thinkiing no matter what. But thanks.. I"m headed over to the store supply to purchase my own supply of plastic bags

Guest

Now what am I supposed to use to line my small trash cans?

Guest

I know I am losing sleep over it!

Guest

Yes, let's work on the small stuff like plastic bags and don't even touch the state unions public workers pension bomb that is driving taxes up for the state lets state workers retire in their 40's with half pension and full medical benefits...yeah lets focus on plastic bags...hahahhahahahahahaha....See you in Florida suckers...

Guest

Will it still be okay for customers to bring their own plastic bags?

Does no one on the RTM actually shop for their own groceries? Paper bags without handles are a hindrance, not a help. One nice feature of the plastic bags is the ability to carry four or five bags in each hand at a time when unloading the car into the kitchen!

Recycling the plastic bags seems to work just fine for many of us.

yes, customers can bring any type of bag they choose.

Guest

If the Nanny State feels the need to be intrusive Ban Styrofoam take out food containers first. They have no second life like grocery store bags for kitchen garbage. Styrofoam cannot be recycled. And, we pick them up from our road frontage. We have never found a plastic bag when picking litter, but there are plenty of beer and soda bottles and Styrofoam foot containers.

Guest

Plastic bags at grocery store checkout provide reasonable protection from cross contamination that will occur with reusable bags. It is not worth the risk of an E. coli death because of cross contamination between meat and fruits or vegetables. Reusable bags can not be sterilized when contaminated and the user will never be aware of the problem. This is an incredibly ignorant government decision.

Guest

Cross contamination is taking place before your groceries even get bagged. Your raw chicken is on the scanner touching your other groceries and customers before you blessed the scanner with their raw meat residue. Cashier handles your raw chicken and then hands you your receipt. If you made it through your cash out experience without getting sick or flat lining then you will be fine using the reusable bags.

Guest

Thanks for your response, but in reality meats are currently packed with other like products. Fruits and vegetables (at least the fruits & vegetables that I select) are placed into separate bags and tied off while I’m still in the vegetable aisle. Also, the checkout counters are wiped down at regular intervals at reputable grocery stores. Yes, there is a danger of cross contamination while shopping. But, the much misaligned plastic bag provides an actual layer of protection. And, I do understand the spread of contaminants better than most people after having worked in the nuclear industry for over 55 years.

Guest

We reuse every grocery store bag for kitchen garbage. We will obviously be buying Plastic Bags for the same purpose, while the grocer pockets both the savings and the profits. This makes absolutely no sense.

Guest

the only sense it does make...chaaching... more money in the state coffers for the cost to buy the bags now at the store

Guest

The sentiment behind this motion reminds me of the attempt to ban all incandescent light bulbs back in 2010. Oops, compact fluorescent bulbs are even worse, never mind!

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