Single Use Bag Initiative
WEC is reintroducing "The Good Bag" Initiative in tandem with an effort to pass an ordinance banning plastic bags and straws in Washington.
1 Trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually worldwide
100 Billion single-use plastic bags are used annually in the United States
900 Million single-use plastic bags are used annually in Connecticut alone!
The average plastic bag is used for only 12 minutes, and the amount of energy required to make a dozen bags could power a car for a mile. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade, which means they break down into small, toxic pieces that contaminate our soil and waterways. A billion seabirds and mammals tragically die after ingesting them. Even right here in Washington, these nuisance bags litter the trees at the Transfer Station and elsewhere in town. It is clear that the only purpose disposable plastic bags serve is the illusion of convenience, at the cost of endangering our health and the health of our ecosystem.
In addition to plastic bags, plastic straws pose an equally dangerous hazard. Many don’t realize the catastrophic impact of the disposal of 500 million plastic straws in our country each year. Straws are too small to be recycled, and often end up on our shores or ingested by animals. Paper and stainless steel straws create a far less harmful effect on the environment.
Simple changes such as using reusable totes can literally change our landscape, and that is why we are working with the Washington selectmen to create an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags in Washington. Westport and Greenwich are the only two Connecticut municipalities to have banned single-use plastic bags so far, but many others are developing their own. The proposed ordinance will be brought to a town meeting and voted on by our residents.