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Protect CT's Reusable Bag Law!

Protect CT's Reusable Bag Law!

The Connecticut Chapter is working closely with our Northeast Regional Manager to fight a bill that proposes to weaken our state's reusable bag law by allowing single-use bioplastic bags to be dispensed at checkout counters for free.


We haven't seen the last of this bill! We will keep an eye on the situation moving forward and will update this page accordingly. 


SB281 (LCO No. 864) is still with the Joint Committee on Environment, awaiting public hearing. Read the text of the bad proposal here to be best prepared to testify against it when/if it is scheduled for hearing! 

At Surfrider, we follow the science and data. Data on checkout bag use unequivocally tells us that fees placed on single-use plastic bags discourage shoppers from using them, while single-use bags offered for free are the go-to.

When we worked to help pass the state's reusable bag law in 2019, we tried really hard to ensure the law would ban film bags and require a fee on all types of single-use checkout bags. While we got part-way there, and municipalities are able to assess fees on paper bags—they are not required to do so. This is why we did not count the law that passed in 2019 as a Surfrider victory, as we know that free single-use paper bags are no bueno.

However, in 2019, we successfully fought off attempts by bioplastics industry lobbyists to allow single-use bioplastic bags for free. That win is currently under attack with the introduction of Proposed Bill 281, which seeks to amend the law passed in 2019 to allow single-use bioplastic bags for free.

Why are we so down on bioplastic?!? Well because it:

•Requires precise conditions under which to degrade (light, oxygen, temps)

•Acts just like regular plastic in water posing immediate threats to wildlife

•Has weak standards for definitions + labeling 

•Isn't a common consumer practice yet to understand composting + there's a lack of Infrastructure + public access to curbside composting

•Fails to get at the important consumer paradigm shift away from single-use and toward a more sustainable reuse protocol.

We will update this campaign page with information as the bill moves through process.


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