The idea would require larger grocery stores to ensure half of their carryout bags are recyclable by the year 2018. By 2020, it would require one hundred percent of the bags to be recyclable.
The effort is being spearheaded by environment committee co-chair senator Ted Kennedy, Jr.
"I have to admit, I'm surprised at how smoothly it actually went," said Jonathan Steinberg, a Democratic representative from the coastal town of Westport -- the only Connecticut municipality to ban most types of plastic bags, back in 2009. "We have had reusable bag bills before this committee before and we've really not been able to move forward. I submit that as each year passes, the environmental impacts of plastic bags become more and more a problem."
In written testimony, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it supports the idea of the plastic bag ban, and hopes to work with industry to increase points for plastic bag collection. Some stores like Stop and Shop already have return bins for recycling single-use carryout plastic bags.
The idea was before lawmakers last year, but never got called for a vote.