Plastic Bags Could Disappear From Connecticut Grocery Stores

Apr 15, 2016
Originally published on April 15, 2016 9:56 am

A bill to phase out plastic bags at grocery stores is moving forward and it's got the support of one prominent garbage man. 

The legislation would get rid of plastic bags, ones like the white baggies available for packing groceries, at certain supermarkets over the next four years. Instead, consumers would be encouraged to pack their goods in reusable carry-out bags made from recycled materials.

Mike Paine, president of a trash company serving more than 20 towns in Connecticut, thinks it's a good idea. He said empty plastic bags are a major headache at trash facilities.

"Many of the facilities have mechanical separation units and, typically, they end up getting plastic bags wrapped around the different pieces of machinery," Paine said. "Think of a drill drilling into a plastic bag and how it can just seal it right up."

Paine said the bill would also push stores to set up collection bins for empty plastic bags, which he hopes will make it easier for consumers to get rid of them in a way that doesn’t gum up trash machines.

The legislation isn't banning all types of plastic bags -- deli meats would still be wrapped in plastic baggies, along with other bags for unwrapped food or prescription medication. It still awaits a vote.

In the meantime, Paine said don't throw your empty plastic bags in your recycle bin. Either reuse them as trash bin liners, or take them to a store that's already set up plastic-bag collection bins.

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