Darien Ditching Single-Use Plastic Bags!

Victory | June 10 2019

Plastic Pollution

The Connecticut Chapter worked with the Bring Your Own Bag Darien group to help pass local legislation to ban single-use plastic checkout bags and add a fee on recycled paper bags.

Inspired by the recent victory in Greenwich and the effort that launched after that success in Stamford, residents of Darien, Connecticut organized a Bring Your Own Bag Darien group to work with the council on reducing the negative impacts of needless pollution from single-use checkout bags. 

By banning plastic checkout bags and adding a fee on paper bags, we are doing all of the following:

  • stopping this needless pollution at the source by reducing the # of bags in circulation that are produced from fossil fuels 
  • removing a huge source of pollution from single-use plastic bags from Darien's environment
  • saving taxpayer dollars from bag-cleanup of clogged drains, waterways and recycling equipment 
  • incentivizing the use of reusable bags by adding a fee on paper bags
  • helping build the case for support of statewide legislation to address this problem systematically while providing for standardized business and distribution practices.

Surfrider Connecticut activists were on board to help, and on June 10, 2019, the measure passed the Representative Town Meeting board! Darien’s ordinance will be effective starting in January 2020 for stores with a single location of more than 10,000 square feet of retail space. The measure bans all plastic film bags under 12 mils and requires a 10¢ fee for each paper bag in those qualifying stores (as there are currently no bags manufactured to meet the 12 mil specification, this ostensibly gets us a total plastic film bag ban...for now). On January 1, 2021, single-use plastic film bags will also be banned in smaller stores, and those stores with a single location and retail space of less than 10,000 square feet do not need to collect the 10¢ fee for each paper bag (although they can opt to in order to properly incentivize consumers to choose reusable bags!).

Please give our chair, Jack Egan, a shout if you would like more info:

Not sure what all is fuss about single-use bags is about? Check out these resources for more info:

Rise Above Plastics
Facts and Figures
Plastic Bags

A great way to support all of our work in Connecticut is to join/renew your Surfrider Foundation membership, and come volunteer with us!


Plastic Pollution

Rise Above Plastics is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

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