Active | January 23 2017
The Chapter has been supporting statewide bag legislation for a few years, and we intend to keep at it until we are successful!
Proposed Bill 6313, An Act Establishing a Tax on Single-Use Plastic and Paper Bags, was introduced by Rep. Ezequiel Santiago to the Connecticut General Assembly in January 2017. This was good legislation that had similar intents to the bill that died in the previous legislative session when time ran out before it was called to the floor for debate, in that it sought to mitigate needless pollution from single-use bags. This bill would have achieved that end by incentivizing the employment of reusable bags using a fee system. Unfortunately, the Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding took no action on this bill and so if Rep. Santiago wants to continue to move it forward, he will need to reintroduce it when the Assembly reconvenes in the February 2018 session.
The stated objective of the original bill was "to encourage shoppers to utilize reusable shopping bags," which helps the Surfrider Foundation stay confident that the fee on paper will remain intact throughout the legislative review process as there is incontrovertible evidence demonstrating that to properly incentivize reusable bags, single-use bags must not be dispersed for free. The amended bill passed out of the Environment Committee clarified the objective as, "to establish a tax for single-use carry out plastic and paper bags, use funds from such tax for environmental purposes and encourage consumers to use reusable bags."
The public hearing was held on February 22, and on March 1, 2017, the Environment Committee released a Joint Favorable Substitute bill that further clarifies the scope and intents of the raised bill (see how the votes came down). The bill then moved forward to the offices of Legislative Research and Fiscal Analysis, and will make its way to the full Assembly for a vote.
Please join us in advocating for this bill by emailing your state house rep and senator, and asking for their support! Reach out to our Regional Manager for more info and stay tuned to our chapter's Facebook page for additional details and ways YOU can help!
Not sure what all is fuss about single-use bags is about? Check out these resources for more info:
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.Learn More