With a state law that would tax and eventually ban single-use plastic checkout bags now awaiting Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature and a Darien ordinance also restricting checkout bags, just passed by the RTM, the coming rules can appear confusing. On June 3, the state Senate joined the House to pass the legislation that would slap a 10-cent tax on single-use (that is, thinner) plastic bags on Aug. 1 and ban those bags 23 months later, on July 1, 2021. On Monday, the Darien Representative Town Meeting passed an ordinance (in an 86-to-2 vote) to ban plastic bags for larger stores by Jan. 1, 2020, and in all stores a year later.
Business Owner Joe Warren, P2P Director Ceci Maher, Environmental Activist Lynn Brooks on Proposed Bag Ordinance
Here’s what three more speakers on the proposed checkout bag ordinance had to say:
Ceci Maher, Executive Director, Person-to-Person
Person-to-Person is a community-supported agency, and Darien has been an incredible supporter of Person-to-Person over the past 50 years. Every year, we use about 100,000 bags. We have been enormously green. We recycle, we ask for people to give us recycled bags, and we use them. And then clients bring them back sometimes — and mostly, not, but sometimes — and we reuse them again.
Diane Browne, owner of Browne & Co. in downtown Darien, gave several reasons for her opposition to the proposed ban on single-use plastic bags and regulations for paper bags and reusable bags when she spoke at the recent RTM public hearing on the matter. Browne spoke briefly at the public hearing and also sent in two written statements with new information. Here are all three statements:
Written statement dated Jan. 31:
I am all for reducing waste and doing away with as much plastic as possible.
Three organizations — based in Stamford, Norwalk and North Haven — submitted these written comments to the Darien Representative Town Meeting in support of a proposed town ban on plastic bags not meant for re-use:
Skip the Plastic Norwalk
Dear Darien RTM members:
Skip the Plastic Norwalk, a group raising awareness about the impact of single-use plastics on our environment, strongly supports Darien’s proposed ordinance banning plastic checkout bags, and urges Darien to join the growing number of towns and cities across the globe, including Norwalk, in banning plastic shopping bags. Norwalk recently joined Stamford, Greenwich, Westport, and Weston in passing a plastic checkout bag ban that goes into effect on July 8. The ordinance was passed unanimously by Norwalk’s Common Council following remarks from a packed room full of supporters: residents, students, business owners, representatives from the Maritime Aquarium, environmentalists and residents of other towns that already have a ban in place. Every single speaker was in favor of the ordinance. Why a ban?
Bruce Orr, a former town official and a biologist with a career in the energy, chemicals, “and, yes, the recycling industry,” gave these remarks at the Feb. 6 public hearing on proposed town-wide restrictions on stores giving customers bags at checkout. Darienite.com is publishing statements from the meeting and from written comments to three RTM committees considering the proposal. You can see a video of Orr’s comments at the bottom of this article. Here are Orr’s comments, as delivered:
I’m a former RTM member, having served this body for over eight years, and I was a member of the Board of Finance for over five years.
About 140 people attended a recent public hearing on a town proposal to restrict the use of checkout bags in Darien. Here’s what two of the roughly two dozen speakers said. Darienite.com is publishing statements from the meeting and from written comments to three RTM committees considering the proposal. You can see a video of the comments at the bottom of this article. Cliff van Voorhees
I see this in the context of the ways, the many ways, that we are destroying our planet, and for me it’s a moral imperative that we do whatever we can to stop environmental degradation.
Here is a statement from Susan Cator, president and executive director of the Darien Chamber of Commerce, on the proposed checkout bag ordinance for Darien. In addition to her written submission, Cator spoke at the Representative Town Meeting public hearing on Feb. 6 giving a slightly different version of the same statement. You can see a video of her comments at the bottom of this article. Cator’s Written Statement
I am Susan Cator, resident of Darien on Deepwood Road and also the president and executive director of the Darien Chamber of Commerce located at 10 Corbin Dr. in Darien.
Darienite will be publishing statements from more than two dozen of Darien residents and others about the new proposal to forbid local stores from providing some disposable plastic bags at checkout and provide reusable bags instead. Here are two statements given at a recent public hearing held Feb. 6. Darienite will be publishing other statements from the meeting (slightly changed, mostly for style purposes or speaking mistakes). Comments submitted in writing and posted on the town government website will also be published in upcoming days.
In light of the Town of Darien considering a ban on plastic carry out bags, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk celebrates such municipal efforts and encourages other communities to take up the cause. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium
A public hearing is planned for Wednesday, Feb. 6 to gain Darien residents’ input on a proposal to ban plastic bags. If such an ordinance is drafted and eventually approved, Darien would join Westport, Greenwich and Norwalk in Connecticut, and Larchmont and Rye Brook in Westchester County, New York, in prohibiting retail stores from offering plastic bags for purchases. Many other municipalities in Connecticut and New York are considering similar legislations.