The ubiquitous plastic bags used by a wide variety of retail, food service and other businesses in Connecticut will soon be undergoing big changes. There is a new law on the state level, and also action in a number of local communities concerning single-use plastic shopping bags.
The proponents of restrictions on plastic bags argue that the bags present a real environmental danger. Estimates are that between five hundred billion and one trillion such single-use plastics bags are consumed each year in the United States. Besides the obvious litter problems caused by the bags, they also interfere with single-stream recycling by clogging the machinery. The bags also end up in massive clumps in the ocean, killing sea life and birds. Even when the bags do break down in the environment, the resulting micro-particles from the polythene material enter the ground, water and eventually the food chain.
At the state level, there is a new two-stage law in effect designed to curb, and eventually eliminate, plastic bags from the waste stream. Effective August 1, 2019, a ten cent per bag tax will be imposed on single-use plastic bags at the retail level. The proceeds will go into the Connecticut general fund. Then, effective July 1, 2021 single use bags will be banned entirely.
Some other environmental proposals in this past legislative session were not enacted, including a proposed ban on single-use Styrofoam containers (such as used for take-out food) and proposed restrictions on single-use plastic straws.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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