Plastic bags start out as fossil fuels and end up as deadly waste in landfills and the ocean. Birds often mistake shredded plastic bags for food, filling their stomachs with toxic debris. For hungry sea turtles, it's nearly impossible to distinguish between jellyfish and floating plastic shopping bags. Fish eat thousands of tons of plastic a year, transferring it up the food chain to bigger fish and marine mammals.
Plastic bags are so lightweight and aerodynamic, that even if we dispose of them properly, they can escape with the wind. They escape from our trash cans, garbage trucks and landfills and they go where the wind takes them – polluting our environment until they finally find their way to the ocean and kill birds and animals.
The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land is more than unsightly and harmful to plants and wildlife. Plastic Pollution is a very real and growing threat to human health.
Why Pay a Tax on Plastic Bags if you can Bring Your Own?
Starting August 1, 2019, all plastic checkout bags will be levied a tax of $0.10 per bag. This tax will go to the General Fund to help with the State Budget deficit. Thank you dear tax payer!
Assuming a conservative estimation of 18,000 Madison residents using one bag per day that’s $675,000 per year of tax going out of Madison to the state each year until the ban takes effect on July 1 2021.
Lets keep that money in our pockets and ban plastic bags today via a local ordinance. 20 other CT towns have.
California passed a statewide plastic bag ban during the 2016 election with Proposition 67. California’s law essentially banned plastic bags from retail stores such as pharmacies, food marts and liquor stores. Customers were left with the alternative of using recycled paper bags or reusable alternatives that cost 10 cents each in some cases.
How’s it going so far?
Data from the 2017 Coastal Clean-up Day showed that plastic bag litter dropped by 72 percent when compared to 2010.
In preparation for their ordinance discussion with the city board, proponents of a ban on single use plastic bags engaged the services of a third party firm to review the economic and environmental impact potential on the city.
This is the resulting report - Plastic Bag Bans: Analysis of Economic and Environmental Impacts
Also - please see the CT Food Association's analysis of these effectiveness studies
Remember the 1971 Keep America Beautiful Campaign? Not a law, but a movement to "convince" people not to litter.
Well, sometimes us humans need rules to live by if it is for our own good.
Learn more about Microplastics and the impact of plastics on our oceans and health.
Every minute, 1 million plastic bottles are bought all over the world many of which end up in the environment. Could this simple solution close the loop and reduce plastic pollution?