Some people state that they have been reusing their single use plastic checkout bags (as trash liner, pet waste bag, or similar). We applaud anyone for reusing their single use plastic bag, but wouldn't it be even better if you used your bag hundreds of more times?
The problem is that even if you reuse your bag and dispose of it in the correct manner, with the amount of plastic bags in Stamford (possibly ~60 million per year), bags will inevitably end up in our nature, in our waters, and quite possibly in our food.
Yes, we agree that it can be inconvenient. However, millions of shoppers worldwide have adapted to this inconvenience and do not see it as a major burden.
We suggest for shoppers to always bring a few foldable reusable bags (in their car or in their backpack) and to have a plan on putting them back upon unpacking.
Note that it is an even larger inconvenience to collect trash and recyclables, drive it miles away, possibly incinerate it, and to use taxpayers money to clean up parks, rivers and beaches.
Recently implemented charges appear to work very well in changing consumer behavior, whilst rewards do not appear to have as signficant results.
Read more about this in a study from the Scientist Action and Advocacy Network which summarizes findings from academic and government-commissioned studies: http://scaan.net/docs/ScAAN_Bags_report.pdf
First, note that it is quite possible that curbside recycling will soon not accept our plastic bags. (We will then have to recycle the bags at designated locations, including the recycling center on Magee Ave).
Secondly, note that there is no guarantee that our plastic bags (and other items) will be recycled. China, which apparently has been a large off-taker of US recycling, has now stopped taking our recycling - ironically due to their own more stringent environmental laws. See link of a NY Times article here.
So, whilst it is great that you attempt to recycle, you may, in fact, not be recycling after all.
The answer is 'most likely not'. Current ordinances (see for example Greenwich) exempt certain bags from a ban: pet waste bags, newspaper bags, yard waste bags, dry cleaning bags etc.
Whilst most of the people surveyed do not see this as an issue given that most items we purchase are pre-packaged already, for those that are concerned about bagging meat we suggest that they designate one particular bag for meat purchases. This bag then could be washed more often. Or, use an aluminum lined reusable bag and wipe it clean after use.
We understand the feeling that these comments imply. Yes, our freedom is very valuable and should be protected.
But regulations have to constantly adapt as new challenges are faced. Take seat belts, take smoking, take vaccinations, as examples. Over time as it is perceived that the greater good is being served by these new regulations, they have become part of normal life.
BYO Stamford believes that there is a benefit for all residents of Stamford and for the environment when we remove the consumption of single use plastic bags. We believe that now is the time to act to protect our environment, our health, and ultimately our children's health.