BYOBag Policy

12.5.2011

BYOB POSITION

BACKGROUND
After two (2) Town Meetings last December and January, the Board of Selectmen supported an Educational Campaign vs. a Ban on single use bags.
Educational Campaign initiated by WGG in January 2011
Goal: To achieve 50% use of reusable bags within 6-12 Months
Board of Selectmen provided $2,5000 toward the program.
WGG produced 2,500 reusable bags with winning designs from a School art contest
More than 12,000 reusable bags were given away during a two-month period. Stop and Shop contributed the balance.
WGG placed kiosks in Stop and Shop and Village Market with free bags and signage explaining the need.
WGG produced and distributed Car Widow Stickers to remind shoppers not to forget to BYOB.
WGG initiated an aggressive PR campaign in the local papers that was supported editorially by the Wilton Bulletin.
The Board of Selectman agreed to revisit the subject if the goal of 50% compliance was not achieved.

STATUS
Before the Educational Campaign began, approximately 8-10% of shoppers used reusable bags.
As of November 2011, approximately 15-18% (?) of shoppers used reusable bags.
WGG will request that the Board of Selectmen “revisit” the subject.

OTHER JURISDICTIONS
Westport , CT banned, in September 2008, the use of disposable plastic bags, but not paper bags
Whole Foods in Westport refunds shoppers 10 cents for reusing a Whole Foods paper bag.
Westport retailers do not charge for paper.
Washington DC, in January 2010, required business’ that sell food or alcohol to charge 5 cents for each disposable paper or plastic carryout bag. Businesses keep 1 cent or 2 cents if it offers a rebate when you bring your own bag. The remaining 3 or 4 cents goes into the Anacostia River protection fund.
In December 2011 Seattle banned plastic bags and instituted a charge of 5 cents for paper bags.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Maui, Hawaii banned non-biodegradable plastic bags.
In 2002, Ireland implemented a surcharge on plastic bags that equates to 30 cents. The Country has seen a 90% decrease in the use of Plastic bags since the surcharge meaning 1 billion fewer bags used annually.
China banned all plastic bags in 2008
In 2009, North Carolina banned plastic bags in the Outer Banks.
The National Conference of Stares reports that ten ( 10) States have proposed legislation to tax, charge or ban the use of plastic bags.

PROPOSED WGG, INC POSITION
That the Board of Selectmen pass an ordinance to ban the use of plastic bags in retailers that sell food, alcohol and pharmaceuticals (CVS). Single use paper bags would not be banned.
Retailers would charge 5 cents for each paper bag. Half would go to the retailer and half would go to a Wilton Fund for the Environment, which could be administered by the Conservation Commission. These funds could be used, for example, to purchase and place recycle bins at strategic locations in town. Bike racks at retail stores, purchase of reusable bags etc