Samira Siskind 0

Ban or tax plastic and paper bags at Connecticut grocers

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Dear Connecticut General Assembly Environment Committee,

Dear Senators Meyer, Maynard and Chapin,

Dear Representatives,

Please ban or tax plastic and paper bags at CT grocers

The facts about plastic bags are well known: they are usually not bio-degradable, most of them are not recycled, and they are probably used for less than one hour. The facts about paper bags are probably less known, yet they too are responsible for a high carbon footprint.

The average US household however may use 10 new bags at each grocer visit (mostly plastic bags). The reason for this is not that wedo not care about the environment. It is because we value convenience and we are not incentivized to stop using new plastic and paper bags at each visit to the grocer.

Not using new plastic and paper bags (either due to an outright ban or, maybe better, a tax) appears to be working well in places that had the courage to adopt these restrictions (most places focused on plastic bags): Los Angeles, CA; Westport, CT; Seattle, WA; Rye, NY; a few countries, mostly in Europe (Germany, Ireland etc). Truth of the matter is: people are smart and flexible enough to adapt to changes that make sense. After paying up for new bags a few times people will not forget to bring their own reusable bags or crates back to the store. It is as easy as that. Certain retailers such as Ikea or Costco are already not providing plastic or paper bags and consumers appear to not take offense to this approach.

Imposing such a ban (or tax) should not be a significant financial burden to consumers either, as grocers should in theory be able to lower costs in return of lack of bag use (the currently provided bags naturally are not free at all but the consumer generally is not aware of the indirect cost paid for these bags).

The current approach in Connecticut(which has only a few grocers paying back money to people bringing their own bags) is not widely known and as such not viewed as being effective.

CT would stand to gain in many people's eyes if it was the first state in the country to enact such positive change state-wide.

Dear CGA, thank you in advance for your courage.

Kind regards,

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