BYO Stamford
BYO Stamford
  • BYO Stamford - 2018

    Bring your own Checkout Bags

    Upcoming Events - Survey - Number of Supporters

    Upcoming Events

    The Legislative & Rules Committee will hold a PUBLIC MEETING on September 20th,  2018,  7PM

    Democratic Caucus Room;

    888 Washington Blvd

    The public can speak during this meeting! 

    If you can not attend the public hearing in person please feel free to send in your comments to:

    Here is a link to the proposed plastic bag ordinance:

    The Stamford Plastic Bag Survey (updated: 8/23/2018)

    numbers of households that took the survey: 

    190 (representing 533 Stamford residents)

    in favor of a ban and also a charge: ~49%

    in favor of a ban but not a charge:~28% 

    opposing a ban: ~23% 

    77% of households that took the survey are in favor of a single use plastic bag ban.

    BYO Stamford

    Who we are

    We are a group of Stamford, CT residents that are interested in:

    - reducing single use bags, in particular single use plastic bags

    - preserving our coastline

    - reducing waste management, recycling, and clean up costs for the community

    - advocating a smarter and healthier way of life

    - educating ourselves and others 

    Our Goal

    We advocate a Stamford wide hybrid ordinance that:

    - bans the use of 'free' single use bags, especially single use plastic bags 

    - incentivizes residents to BYO (bring their own reusable bags)

    The latter would be achieved by:

    - charging a fee for each check out bag (we advocate for recyclable paper bags) 

    We advocate that until such an ordinance goes into effect retailers have to disclose the cost of bags.   This will educate consumers as to the cost of their perceived 'free' bags. 

    Why reduce single use bags?

    All single-use bags:

    - can create unnecessary waste which results in costly waste management, costly recycling or costly clean ups

    - can disperse into the environment 

    - can impede waterways and clog storm drains

    - require nonrenewable, fossil fuels to manufacture

    - can overwhelm landfills


    And they are NOT free. Retailers currently do not have to disclose the cost.  These costs either impact the retailers' profits negatively or are built into consumer prices.  

    Plastic bags in particular:

    - can pollute oceans and entangle & kill marine life 

    - can degrade into small particles that contaminate our water and soil 

    - can enter our food system by being ingested by the animals & fish we eat

    - clog recycling stations (in fact, contrary to common belief, they are not easily recycable)

    - produce toxic ash when incinerated 

    But why a charge?

    To encourage reusable instead of single use paper bags. A charge has proven to work

    There is plenty of evidence that a charge works very well in terms of changing consumers' behaviors and incentivizing them to bring their own reusable bags.  

    Here are a few examples:

    San Jose, CA (ban on thin plastic, fee on all other bags)

    Enacted in 2012, this has resulted in an 89% decrease in plastic bags clogging storm drains, 60% fewer ending up in rivers and streams, and 59% fewer plastic bags littering the street.

    Suffolk County, NY (fee on plastic bags this year)

    Plastic bags went from about 71% of the total data collected down to ~30%, while reusable bag use jumped from about 5% to 43%.

    Los Angeles County, CA

    single-use bag consumption decreasing by 95%, including a 30% decrease in paper bag use, while saving the county taxpayers millions of dollars of bag clean-up costs.

    Chicago, IL (7 cent tax on plastic bags last year)

    In the first month alone there was a 42% drop in the number of plastic and paper bags at grocery stores.

    Washington DC (5 cent fee on carryout bags in 2010)

    The result was a 60% - 80% decrease in single use bag consumption.

    Why not provide a reward instead of a charge?

    Empirical evidence suggests a charge is effective in changing behaviors whilst a reward is not.

    Read more (link below) about studies that have been undertaken that show that rewards have not been effective at changing consumer behavior while charges have.

    Not supporting the ban yet?

    "BYO bag will be costly for me"

    There may be a small upfront cost of reusable bags for you, however the city will likely be able to save significant amounts of taxpayer's money from reduced drainage clean up costs, beach clean up costs , recycling and trash collection. 

    A cleaner environment and cleaner water will benefit all of us and will be more healthy. Lower income communities, which are often impacted significantly by pollution, should benefit greatly from the expected improvements.

    With regard to the cost of the charge BYO Stamford sees this as an incentive to bring your own bag. It should be small enough to not hurt consumers but large enough to be noticed. 

    Go to our Q&A section for the most common questions / comments on the topic.

    We want to hear from you

    If you are a Stamford resident and have any comments on this issue you can either add them in the comment section of the survey (link above) or email us at:

    You can also follow us on Social Media: 

    Facebook: BYO Stamford 

    Twitter: @byo_stamford

    Download our Flyer, spread the word

    Organizations and Companies that support BYO Stamford

    BYO Greenwich

    BYOGreenwich represents the students, individuals, families, pet owners, non-profits and businesses from every district of Greenwich that have seen, read about and personally have noticed the human health, environmental and fiscal impact plastic bags have on our community and want to make a positive change in and for our Town and our children's future.

    Citizens Campaign for the Environment

    Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) was formed in 1985 by a small group of concerned citizens who recognized the need to provide public involvement to advance stronger environmental policy. Today, CCE has grown to an 80,000-member organization with offices in Farmingdale, NY, Albany, NY, Syracuse, NY, Buffalo, NY, and Hamden, CT. 


    SoundWaters protects the Long Island Sound through education and action. SoundWaters is a recognized and trusted organization locally and in the Long Island Sound region. We have sustained relationships built on shared value and trust for 25 years that includes community, school, business, and political leaders.

    Innovate Stamford

    Innovate Stamford is an organization committed to innovation. Check out their WebSite - exciting stuff is happening in Stamford.

    Surfrider Foundation

    The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

    WOW ("Women on Watch")

    Women on Watch, a Stamford group formed in 2008, is a group focused on aiding the democratic election effort. 

    Our Partners