The Connecticut’s Environment Committee will continue its efforts to reduce the usage of plastic bags in the state during this year.
EAST HARTFORD: The Connecticut’s Environment Committee will continue its efforts to reduce the usage of plastic bags in the state during this year.
According to state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., efforts are on to address the content of single-use plastic bags. He added that not all types of plastics that are used in single-use bags are biodegradable. There should not be mixing of different categories. Kennedy assured that necessary action would be taken to minimize the use of single-use plastic bags and to increase the recycling of these plastic bags. Plastic bags are terrible for environment, he noted. By imposing fee on bags, significant reduction in usage can be achieved, he added.
The Committee has proposed a bill last year that would have phased out single-use carry-out bags at certain retail stores by 2019. According to the bill, stores are allowed to give customers single-use carryout bags until September 2017, by charging at least 10 cents per bag. During the next two years, stores will be allowed to sell only compostable, recycled paper, or 100% recyclable bags at a charge of at least 10 cents per bag. Starting October 2019, stores are allowed to provide only reusable bags either free or at a set price. Violators of the rule will be fined $1,000 per day for first violation, $2,000 per day for second one and $5,000 per day for third and subsequent violations. Although the bill got approvals of the Environmental, Judicial and Planning and Development committees, it failed to make it to the floor of Senate.
The bill was welcomed by grocers, but had faced strong opposition from retailers.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) noted that only a small proportion of the plastic shopping bags are recycled. According to them, it is better to reduce the number of bags generated than recycling them. It also urged residents to increasingly use reusable bags for shopping.