[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of New Canaan 2-27-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to preserve and protect the environment and encourage the use of reusable carryout bags by reducing the use of carryout bags made of plastic and limiting the use of carryout bags made of nonrecyclable paper.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CARRYOUT BAG
- A bag of any material, commonly plastic, or kraft 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.
- 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 with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse that:
- A. Is made of (a) cloth, fiber, or other machine washable fabric, (b) laminated material, or (c) durable plastic that is at least 6.0 mils (thousandths of an inch) thick; and
- B. 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.
No retail establishment in the Town of New Canaan shall sell, provide, or distribute carryout bags made of plastic, other than reusable carryout bags.
No retail establishment in the Town of New Canaan with more than 10,000 square feet of retail space shall sell, provide, or distribute carryout bags made of paper unless such bags either:
Any retail establishment in the Town of New Canaan with more than 10,000 square feet of retail space that elects to provide carryout bags made of paper consistent with § 10A-3B(2) of this chapter shall charge the consumer $0.10 at the point of purchase for each such bag. Such charge shall be subject to applicable sales tax.
The charge imposed by a retail establishment as provided in Subsection A of this section shall be retained solely by the retail establishment.
All retail establishments subject to Subsection A shall post a sign at or near each point of purchase that reads substantially as follows: "Each paper carryout bag provided by this store to a consumer shall be subject to a fee of $0.10."
All retail establishments shall indicate on the consumer transaction receipt the number of carryout bags subject to a fee and the total amount of charge imposed.
No retail establishment shall rebate or otherwise reimburse a customer for any portion of the charge provided in Subsection A of this section.
Nothing in this chapter 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.
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a consumer from using bags or containers of any type that they bring to a retail establishment, so long as they are clean and sanitary, or from carrying away goods that are not placed in bags.
It shall be presumed that all paper carryout bags sold or used by a retail establishment are subject to the charge provided in Subsection 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.
The charge reflected in § 10A-4 of this chapter shall not apply to the extent it would violate the laws of the United States or the State of Connecticut.
The charge reflected in § 10A-4 of this chapter shall not apply to the use of carryout bags to carry 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.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Director of Health or her designee.
Upon determination that a violation has occurred, the retail establishment shall be liable for the following:
Upon the initial violation, written warning notice that a violation has occurred shall be issued to the retail establishment. No penalty shall be imposed for the initial violation;
For the second violation, a penalty of $150; and
For the third and each subsequent violation, a penalty of $250.
No more than one penalty shall be imposed upon a retail establishment for any twenty-four-hour period.
If any section, clause, sentence or provision of this chapter 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.
This chapter shall become effective six 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 chapter.