Plastic Bag Vote Delayed

Sam Gurwitt PhotoYou can keep asking for those single-use plastic bags in Hamden, at least for now.

A much-anticipated vote on a bill to ban them ended up not taking place at Monday night’s Legislative Concil meeting.

District Nine Rep. Brad Macdowall, who introduced the bill, explained that members of the council had concerns about how the ordinance would be enforced. So they have delayed a vote until the next meeting.

In the original bill, the Quinnipiac Valley Health District (QVHD) would be solely responsible for enforcement. QVHD already does inspections in restaurants and stores.

Council members raised questions about whether the agency would have to go back to businesses to enforce fines, and whether the agnecy would receive some of the revenue from those fines.

Council members decided that it was best to postpone the vote on the bill until the Feb. 19 meeting to look into the enforcement issue. Though the language is still in the process of being drafted, under the proposed new version, QVHD will share enforcement duty with the town’s litter enforcement officer. When QVHD does its inspections, it will notify the litter enforcement officer of any businesses that do not comply with the ordinance, and the litter enforcement officer will then go back and issue a fine.

Macdowall told the Independent that, despite the talk about enforcement, he does not anticipate that the town will end up collecting very many fines.

“This is not meant to be a punitive thing,” he said.

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posted by: Noteworthy on February 5, 2019  12:55pm

Yes it is meant to be punitive. If you don’t do what these people want, you’ll get a fine. If people demand them, retailer complies, you get a fine. After this is implemented, every body with a dog should descend on City Hall and let their pets take a dump - see how much dog xhit they want to walk through that could have been avoided with plastic bags.

posted by: tmctague on February 5, 2019  2:26pm

“After this is implemented, every body with a dog should descend on City Hall and let their pets take a dump - see how much dog xhit they want to walk through that could have been avoided with plastic bags.”

A bit of an overreaction to an important cultural/behavioral change aimed at helping the environment for future generations.  I don’t think they intend on banning ALL plastic bags.  Like many others, I buy special dog poop bags (mine are biodegradable) at TJ Maxx for a low price.  Petco also sells them.  Ziploc bags with your sandwich are OK, they are referring to bags from food service and retail stores.  A liquor store nearby demanded my beer be put in a plastic bag, which I tossed in the trash within minutes - I think that’s what they want to avoid.

posted by: Hill Resident on February 5, 2019  3:25pm

The problem is not the plastic bags, it is the people who litter, or who don’t recycle or reuse. The bags do not fly out of the stores themselves. After the purchaser takes out whatever they bought to consume, they throw the bag onto the street ... litter. Then when they finish consuming what they bought, they throw THAT container onto the street also. On the other hand, you have many people who reuse those bags to: pick up dog poop, line their small household trash cans, carry their lunch to work in, place dirty diapers an other unhygienic materials in before throwing them away. Then there are the Senior at Tower One East in New Haven who have been crocheting plastic waterproof blankets for the homeless (700 bags to make one mat).

If the plastic bags are cheaper than paper bags, consumer will end up absorbing the cost in higher priced goods. But the increase would be so slight we probably wouldn’t notice. And that is the price we pay for saving the planet!

posted by: BevHills730 on February 6, 2019  11:52am

Noteworthy: Lover of plastic in the ocean, advocate of the rights for pedophiles and rapists, opponent of affordable housing, and supporter of state-sanctioned kidnapping.

posted by: Tessa Marquis on February 6, 2019  1:42pm

Charging a fee works well in California, and most people switch to bringing their own canvas bags.

Regarding dog feces and other bio-waste: It should be sent through the sewer system for treatment, like your own bodily waste. I can’t understand why this is unacceptable for dog owners when you are (hopefully) not putting your own feces into plastic bags in the garbage can.