§_____-1. – Purpose.


This Ordinance [Article] is intended to reduce bag waste to protect and preserve the environment of New Canaan for the benefit and welfare of its residents by prohibiting the provision of single use plastic checkout bags, and prohibiting the provision of non-recyclable paper bags.


§_____-2. – Definitions.


As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:


Carryout Bag 

A bag of any material, commonly plastic or paper, that is provided to a consumer at the point of sale to carry purchases out of the establishment.  The term shall not include:


    A.     Bags used by consumers inside a Retail Establishment to:

1.     Package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items;

2.     Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, whether prepackaged or not;

3.     Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a problem;

4.     Segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise when placed together in a bag; or

5.     Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods.


B.     Newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, or laundry-dry cleaning or garment bags.


C.    Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags.


However, the bulk sale of single use plastic bags intended for carryout - commonly referred as T-Shirt bags - is specifically prohibited.


D.     Bags of any type that customers bring to a Retail Establishment for their own use.


Retail Establishment 

Any person, corporation, partnership, business, or other organization or group, however organized, that transfers merchandise, goods, or materials, including, without limitation, clothing, food, or personal items of any kind, directly to a consumer in exchange for payment.  The term includes, by way of example and not limitation, any grocery store, grocery delivery service, department store, clothing store, hardware store, hospital, pharmacy, liquor store, restaurant, delicatessen, convenience store, food truck, sidewalk vendor, farmers' market, flea market, and any other retail store or vendor.  The term shall not include the sale of goods at yard sales, tag sales, or other sales by residents at their home.



Reusable Carryout Bag

A bag sold or provided by a retailer, typically with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse that (1) is made of (a) cloth, fiber, or other machine washable fabric, or (b) durable plastic that is at least 12.0 mils (thousandths of an inch) thick, and (2) does not contain lead, cadmium, or any other toxic material, as defined by applicable state and federal standards and regulations for packaging or reusable bags.


§_____-3. – Restrictions on Carryout Bags.


A.     Retail Establishment may not provide or distribute plastic Carryout Bags, other than Reusable Carryout Bags with a minimum thickness of 12 mils .


B.     Retail Establishment may not sell, provide, or distribute Carryout Bags made of paper in the Town, unless such bags:


1.    Are 100% recyclable;

2.     Contain a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content (except that an eight pound or smaller paper bag shall contain a minimum of 20% post-consumer recycled content); and

3.     Conspicuously display the phrase “Reusable” and “Recyclable” on the outside of the bag and the percentage of post-consumer recycled content.


§ _____-4. –    Charges for Carryout Bags.


A.     Any Retail Establishment that elects to provide Carryout Bags made of paper consistent with Section 3.B. of this article shall charge the consumer at the point of purchase $.10 for each such bag.


B.     The charge imposed by a Retail Establishment as provided in Paragraph A of this Section shall be retained solely by the Retail Establishment.


C.    All Retail Establishments shall post signs at or near the point of purchase to notify consumers of the provisions of this article.  Such signs shall be in both English and shall read substantially as follows:  “Per Town of New Canaan Ordinance ____,  paper carryout bags offered to consumers are subject to a fee of ten cents per bag.”  


D.    All Retail Establishments shall indicate on the consumer transaction receipt the number of Carryout Bags provided and the total amount of charge imposed.  It shall be a violation of this article for a Retail Establishment to fail to separately itemize the charge upon a consumer’s purchase of such bag.


E.     No Retail Establishment shall rebate or otherwise reimburse a customer for any portion of the charge provided in Paragraph A of this Section.


F.    Nothing in this article shall prohibit a Retail Establishment from providing Reusable Carryout Bags for no or nominal cost or encouraging and providing incentives for the use of Reusable Carryout Bags, including credits or rebates for customers that bring their own Reusable Carryout Bags for the purpose of carrying purchases out of the Retail Establishment.


G.     Nothing in this article shall prohibit a consumer from using bags of any type that they bring to a Retail Establishment or from carrying away goods that are not placed in bags.


H.     It shall be presumed that all Carryout Bags sold or used by a Retail Establishment are subject to the charge provided in Paragraph A of this Section until the contrary is established.  The burden of proving that such Carryout Bags are not subject to the charge hereunder shall be upon the Retail Establishment so claiming.


§ _____-5. – Exceptions.


A.     The charge reflected in Section 4 of this article shall not apply to the extent it would violate the laws of the United States or the State of Connecticut.


B.     The charge reflected in Section 4 will be waived for items purchased pursuant to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), or a similar governmental food assistance program.


§ _____-6. – Enforcement and penalties for violation.


A.     This article shall be enforced by the Department of Public Works/Conservation Commission  _____???? or its designee.


B.     Penalties for violations are:


1.     Initial violation:  written warning notice that a violation has occurred shall be issued to the Retail Establishment.  No penalty shall be imposed.;

2.     Second violation: a penalty of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00); and

3.    Third and each subsequent violation: a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).


C.     No more than one penalty shall be imposed upon a Retail Establishment in one 7-day period.


D.     No penalty shall be imposed upon a Retail Establishment for a violation of Section 4, Paragraph 3 of this article.


§_____-7. – Severability.


If any section, clause, sentence or provision of this article shall be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such adjudication shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision hereof, and the applicability thereof to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.


§ _____-8. – Effective date.


This article shall become effective three months following its adoption by the Town Council in order to allow Retail Establishments time to dispose of their existing inventory of Carryout Bags made of plastic and convert to alternative packaging materials compliant with this article. 

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