Reusable Bag Campaign
Help make a change!
In Mansfield, we use almost 8.6 million plastic bags each year. That is about 1 bag per person per day.[i]
On February 11, 2019, the Town Council passed the Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance, which goes into effect March 13, 2019. As of September 13, 2019, businesses will be prohibited from providing plastic checkout bags.
Plastic bags are convenient and cheap. However, the environmental expense of plastic bags far exceeds the cost retailers are currently paying to provide them. There is no need for this. Simple alternatives such as reusable shopping bags are available and already used in many stores throughout the area. The Mansfield Solid Waste Advisory Committee believes that single-use plastic bags should be limited.Why?
Plastic bags are a problem when mixed with other curbside recyclables. The Town’s recycling contractor, Willimantic Waste Paper, does not accept plastic bags with the grouping of cans, bottles, paper and cardboard because they routinely clog and shut down the sorting lines of their automated recycling facility.
Most plastic bags are not recycled. Only a fraction are recycled by bringing them to back to stores, such as Big Y,and Price Chopper, that accept them.
Plastic bags kill wildlife. Plastic bags are lightweight and aerodynamic, making them a good candidate for litter. Sadly, littered bags can be mistaken as food by wild animals. Plastic bags choke, strangle and entangle animals, birds, and fish on land and in water including turtles, whales, seals and sea lions in the marine environment.[ii] Many of these animals are already threatened due to over fishing or habitat loss.
Plastic bags do not biodegrade.[iii] When plastic bags finally do break down, they do not dissolve into benign substances. Instead they fracture into smaller and smaller bits called “micro plastics.” These small particles present the greatest long-term danger, as they displace food supplies in the world’s oceans.[iv]
Plastic bags are made of non-renewable sources. Plastic carryout bags are made from petroleum.
||Reusable bags are available through a variety of retail stores. The Solid Waste Advisory Committee is selling teal blue reusable bags for $1. You can purchase them in the public works/engineering office of the Town Hall.
Bag Share Locations - Free reusable bags are available at the Senior Center.
Free reusable bags have been given out at various town events.
|| 5x 8 cards are available for vendors who would like to remind their customers to bring their own bag. The Bring Your Own Bag logo is available for businesses who would like to sponsor the reproduction of the bags to give or sell to customers.
| Business Strategies
|| Reusable Bag Tips
|| Pet Waste Bag Alternatives
Bring Your Own Bag Presentation
Bring Your Own Bag Draft Ordinance
[i] Based on data from U.S. International Trade Commission, “Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags from Indonesia, Taiwan, and Vietnam”’ May 2009, p. IV-7 (http://www.usitc.gov/publications/701_731/pub4080.pdf)
[ii] Lazar, B. and R. Gracan, “ Ingestion of marine debris by loggerhead sea turrles, Caretta caretta, in the Adriatic Sea. “ 2011. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62: 43-47; United Nations Environmental Programme. “Marine Litter – Trash that kills”. 2001. (http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/marinelitter/publications/default.asp)
[iii] Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Research-Pelagic Plastic-Gyre Voyage 2002, July 26, 2002 (http://www.algalita.org/research_ffs.html).
[iv] Crump, Andrea, Marine Conservation Society, Long Term Impacts of Plastic Bags in the Marine Environment www.mcsuk.org/downloads/policy/coastal_polln/MCS_Long_Term_Impacts_of_Plastic_Bags_In_the_Marine_Environment_(Aug_2004).doc; https://wedocs.unep.org/.../-Marine_litter_Vital_graphics- 2016MarineLitterVG.pdf.pdf?