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Source: WTNH.com

Shoppers may be charged for bags

An incentive to get people to go green and raise $


Posted: March 25, 2009
Originally Published: March 24, 2009

North Haven (WTNH) - The choice of going paper or plastic may soon cost shoppers. A push to "go green" has lawmakers looking at a bill that could put fees on the bags we use.

At the Montowese Food Center in North Haven there's good food and friendly service. But like everyone else these days, they too are feeling the effects of the economy.

"With the economy the way it's been, it's been even a little bit slower but they're coming back," said Charlie Barbarotta of Montowese Food Center.

So they believe, adding a five-cent fee for bags, paper or plastic is adding a bigger burden for already cash-strapped customers.

"The people will feel it, you raise anything five or ten cents a pound, they know right away; so they'll know that right away," said Barbarotta.

But advocates say that imposing a fee may be the only thing that will make us change.

Connecticut consumers used about 420-million disposable bags last year while only 1.5 million re-usable bags were bought.

At a press conference in Hartford, the reusable bags were prominently displayed while supporters waved posters promoting the new approach to going green.

"200,000 plastic bags per hour end up in our landfills, only to then last over a 1,000 years before they start to breakdown in little plastic pieces," said Adrienne Esposito of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Charging for bags would bring in millions to the state. At Montowese, they go through at least 1,000 bags a week and many see the measure as a simple incentive.

Connie Langner thinks it's a good idea to help the environment and she already has a reusable bag but she rarely remembers it.

"I usually forget them either in the car, at home on the kitchen table, so I end up buying another one so I have about 15 of those bags," said Langer.

Alaska, California, Virginia and Vermont are also now considering a bag bill.