In case you haven’t heard, the state’s new tax increases include one on disposable, single-use plastic bags. This new, temporary tax takes effect on August 1, 2019. Stop & Shop in Ridgefield will no longer stock plastic bags as of August 1. "They're shipping them out," a store employee told HamletHub. The store is selling reusable bags at each checkout counter.
Between then and June 30, 2021, retailers that provide plastic shopping bags with a thickness of less than four mils- four thousandths of an inch- will be required to charge a 10-cent tax on every single bag. After June 30, 2021, retailers are prohibited from providing or selling single-use checkout bags to customers.
Plastic bags used for produce, seafood, meat and poultry, unwrapped food items, newspapers and dry cleaning are exempt from the tax. Retailers also have the option to charge customers for single-use paper bags.
Retailers and consumers are bracing for the change, but concerns about consumer awareness and having a large enough supply of reusable bags to meet demand remain. Proponents hope the tax will mean less plastic will end up in the environment.
According to the Associated Press, The Connecticut Food Association estimates about 700 million single-use plastic bags are distributed each year in Connecticut.