Keep reusable bags in several locations - your car, a compact bag in your purse or pack, easy to grab areas near the exit of your home so you'll remember to bring them with you.
Carry a refillable mug with you so you are always prepared for beverage purchases. Adopt a "don't-leave-home-without-it" lifestyle.
Visit stores with soda dispensers instead of grabbing a plastic bottle.
Refuse straws and tell your waitstaff not to put one in your water.
Ask your favorite restaurants to adopt a "straws on request" policy or switch to paper straws.
Carry reusable bamboo utensils and straw in your purse/car for fast food on the go, take out and eating in food courts.
Create a reusable container kit for your car, and carry it into restaurants to use for "doggie bags" when portions are too large.
Have reusable containers available for packing school lunches or meals brought to work instead of "ziploc" bags or wraps.
Store food in the fridge in covered containers or jars instead of bowls covered with disposable wraps.
Eliminate single-use plastics when entertaining at home or picnicking out in the summer. Contact Us if you're hosting a crowd...instead of buying plastic utensils, we've collected stainless steel utensils for dozens, and will loan them out free for use.
Whenever possible, buy dry goods from bulk bins with reusable cloth bags or containers. If single-use packaging is needed, choose paper sacks or use compostable containers available from the salad bar instead of clear plastic containers.
Choose products that are not packaged in plastic.
Reducing your use of single-use plastics is better, but when that's not possible, bring single-use containers home to recycle instead of putting them in the trash.
Know what can be recycled (and how) to reduce jamming and contamination problems. The belief that all items with a "numbered triangle" on them are recyclable is not accurate. Plastic bags and polystyrene or "Styrofoam" are NOT recycled within CT. Plastic bags also jam the recycling machines so should never go into recycling bins. Bags may be returned to some larger grocery stores, which ship them out of state. Currently, the rate of recovery is extremely low.
Bags, polystyrene and plastic containers that are not cleaned prior to being put in bins cause contamination, resulting in large loads of plastic material being rejected from the recycle stream and ending up as garbage. Visit http://www.recyclect.com/ which has a search bar to look-up any specific items. Generally, tubs and containers for food and beverage bottles are recyclable. But plastic coffee cup lids and all "Styrofoam" go into the trash, reason to BYO re-usable coffee mug.
Sign our petition to ban plastic check out bags and reduce paper waste by adding a 10 cent fee for retailers. This type of legislation has been shown to be most effective across the US to change behavior and move people to BYO Bag for shopping, reducing the most waste.
LET BOTH YOUR LEGISLATORS KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT SINGLE-USE PLASTICS. There are numerous single-use plastic bills in the state legislature now, see below. The first five have passed out of the Environment Committee and are waiting to be called to the House and Senate floors. Emails can be sent to Senator Cassano at email@example.com AND your Representative, either Jill.Barry@cga.ct.gov or Jason.Doucette@cga.ct.gov . Include the bill number(s) and title(s) when sending your comments, which can be cut-and-pasted from below.
ACTIVE - STATE PLASTIC BAG BANThe Budget Bill, HB 7424, was amended on 6/3/19 with plastic bag ban language. If the Budget passes as is, Sec. 355 (starts at line 14149) would mean any store providing a bag less than 4 mils thick would charge a 10cent tax per bag. All plastic bags under 4 mil will be phased out by July 1, 2021. It also says towns can pass stricter laws, and can pass laws concerning paper, including having stores charge for paper (intent is for stores to keep the fee). You can read it here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/amd/H/pdf/2019HB-07424-R00HB-AMD.pdf
DEAD - HB 7294 AN ACT CONCERNING BOTTLE REDEMPTION IN THE STATE The bill that would have extended the deposit fee to more types of beverages was changed and instead the State will form a Task Force and study the issue further.
ACTIVE - HB 5384 AN ACT REQUIRING THE ELIMINATION OF SINGLE-USE STYROFOAM CONTAINERS would eliminate single-use polystyrene ("Styrofoam" cups, plates, bowls and take-out containers) that are given out by food establishments. Polystyrene is NOT accepted for recycling in CT. Despite the numbered triangle you might see, in CT polystyrene must go in the trash, not recycling bins. This has passed the House 121-23-7 and is waiting to be called in the Senate.
ACTIVE - SB 229 AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF STYROFOAM TRAYS IN CONNECTICUT SCHOOLS This bill would eliminate the practice of providing single-use polystyrene trays for every student, every day who purchase school lunch. Glastonbury is one of many towns in CT whose students use and dispose foam trays daily. This passed in the Senate 29-5-2 and is waiting to be called in the House.