PLEASE COME to THE 2nd RTM PUBLIC HEARING AND SUPPORT THE ORDINANCE

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 8:00 PM Town Hall Auditorium, 2 Renshaw Road

The Public Works, Public Health and Safety, and Town Government Structure and Administration Committees of the RTM will hold a second Public Hearing. This meeting is for the purpose of affording the general public an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed “Ordinance for the Management of Plastic and Paper Checkout Bags in Darien” that will be considered by the RTM. You can download the latest version of the Ordinance below. A copy of the proposed ordinance will also be available at the meeting, and is posted on the Town’s web site. Click here.


Key point to note here is that we are promoting the use of reusable bags and therefore we are discouraging the use of all single use bags.  To that end, we are not only proposing a ban on plastic bags and non-recycled paper bags, but also a 10c environmental charge on recycled paper bags. 


We understand that the responsible RTM committees want to hear from people in relation to the proposed 10 cents that retailers would be required under the ordinance to charge for a recycled paper checkout bag. As you may be aware, we are concerned that if we eliminate plastic and non-recycled paper checkout bags but leave recycled paper bags available at no charge, people will simply switch from plastic to paper bags. We have seen this result in Westport and Greenwich where there is no charge for recycled paper bags. You also see it every time you go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s - thousands of recycled paper bags given out each day. And as you also probably know, from a carbon footprint perspective, paper is as harmful, if not more harmful, than plastic. It is imperative that the ordinance contain some mechanism to remind people to bring their own bags in order to help stop this waste. Even a nominal charge such as we are proposing has been shown in studies to be effective. Additionally the market for recyclables has tanked and we are likely to face increased taxes when Darien has to pay (instead of being paid) to have our recyclables hauled away. 


Please join us and speak in support of the ordinance and in particular of the 10 cent charge. If you are unable to come to the meeting, you can  send your comments to the Darien RTM at the following email address:  darienrtm@darienct.gov 


You can also send the email to your district chair:

District 1(Vote at 35 Leroy) Brad Patelli - bpattelli@darienct.gov 

District 2(Vote at Town Hall) Nina Miller - pokebox@aol.com, 

District 3(Vote at Noroton Heights Fire Department) Lisa Yarnell lyarnell@darienct.gov 

District 4( Vote at  Hindley School) Brian Rayhill - brayhill@darienct.gov 

District 5(Vote at Town Hall) James Patrick - jmprtm@gmail.com 

District 6(Vote at 35 Leroy) Caroline Luz - luzfamily@gmail.com


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PLASTIC AND PAPER CHECKOUT BAGS Ordinance

BYO Darien In The News

Maritime Aquarium Supports Ban on Plastic Carry Out Bags in Darien; Public Hearing on Wednesday

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. To read the full article, click here

Town to hold public hearing on plastic bag ordinance

After seven years, the town of Darien is moving once again toward an ordinance that would phase out single-use plastic bags and promote recyclable bags.

A public hearing on the plastic bag ordinance has been set for 8 p.m. on Feb. 6, in the Town Hall auditorium.

The ordinance, proposed by BYO (Bring Your Own) Darien, phases out over a six-month period plastic bags of less than 12 mil thickness and requires a 10 cent charge for recycled paper bags, with the charge being retained by the retailer. To read the full article, click here.

Public Hearing set on Proposed Plastic bag ban

DARIEN — Darien may be next in a growing list of municipalities to ban plastic bags.

Representative Town Meeting Public Works Vice Chair David Bayne said at Monday’s meeting that a majority of stores in town are already behind the plastic bag ban proposal, introduced by local environmental group BYO (Bring Your Own) Darien back in October. To read the full article, click here

September 6, 2018 article by Kevin Webb, Darien Times

Darien’s Representative Town Meeting will consider a new ordinance to promote the use of reusable shopping bags instead of single-use plastic bags at stores in town. Local advocacy group Bring Your Own (BYO) Darien has reached out to businesses, nonprofit organizations and schools to garner the support for a full transition to recyclable paper bags at checkout. To read the full article, click here.

August 30, 2018 article by Lynandro Simmons, Darien News

A new activist group has taken the first formal step in making Darien the third Fairfield County town to ban plastic bags.

BYO Darien presented a proposal for an ordinance to phase out plastic and nonrecycled paper check-out bags to the Board of Selectmen on Monday.

“We (BYO Darien) are all concerned Darien residents about the single-use waste, particularly plastic waste, that Darien generates every single day,” said Lucia Zachowski, co-chairwoman of the group. 

The ordinance would phase out the use of single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable bags. Greenwich and Westport have passed similar ordinances, Zachowski said. Westport implemented its ordinance in 2008 and Greenwich’s will officially go into effect in September.To read the full article, click here.

Bring Your Own Bag, Darien!

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Some facts about Plastic Bags

We are a coastal town, and plastic that gets in our waterways ends up in the Long Island Sound and from there it goes into the oceans. Plastic bags are ubiquitous and light, they easily escape and end up in our waterways. Every year, one trillion plastic bags are disposed world wide, equating to 2 million per minute. A plastic bag is made from depletable resources, yet never degrades completely. 

The photograph on the left was taken at Stony Brook near Darien Town Hall. 

See more plastic bag facts here.

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Plastic in our food chain

Plastic is a wonder material that, since the 1950s, has greatly improved the world. At the same time, it has become a curse; plastic debris kills many animals and plants and destroys the beauty of the planet as a whole. Plastic shopping bags that were introduced in the 1970s are amongst the worst culprits. Millions of whales, birds, seals, turtles, and land animals such as cows and sheep die because they mistake plastic bags for food. In the oceans plastic bags disintegrate into microplastics, tiny pieces of plastic less than 5mm long, which are ingested by all types of fish. Plastic in the ocean absorbs and concentrates highly toxic chemicals, such as PCB's and DDT, from the surrounding seawater. These pollutants have been known to cause cancer and birth defects and disrupt many of the body's tissues and organs. These toxic microplastics bioaccumulate up the food chain to humans. Click here for more details. 

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What is the solution?

If plastic bags were recycled, most of these problems wouldn’t exist. But plastic bags are not widely recycled. The EPA estimates that a mere 12% of plastic bags in the US are recycled. We live in a disposable, consumerist society and plastic bags provide convenience. That being said, the long-term harm to our environment, wildlife and even our health far outweighs the short-term convenience of carrying our purchases in a plastic bag. Many countries, as well as States and municipalities in the US, have eliminated, or imposed fees on, plastic shopping bags.  This has proved to be the single most effective way to reduce plastic bag pollution.

We in Darien must reduce the use and disposal of plastic bags! 

Take a Survey: Tell Us How You Feel

Spend a moment to take a survey and tell us your thoughts about a single use plastic shopping bag ban in Darien.

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