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7/31/2019 - Don't Get Sack'd by the Bag Fee




1. Get a handle on the bags:

 The law requires all retailers to charge a 10-cent fee on the single-use plastic bags they provide at checkout. Here’s a glance at what’s covered:

·        It applies only to bags less than 4 mils thick.

·        It doesn’t apply to resealable bags from the deli or fish counter, or fruit/vegetable bags.

·        Also exempt? Garbage bags; laundry/dry cleaner bags; newspaper bags.


Some stores are eliminating plastic bags at checkout, instead offering a 10-cent fee on paper bags or discounts on reusable cloth bags. Unlike the plastic-bag fee, retailers can keep what they earn for paper bags, which aren’t covered by the law. To avoid a fee, ask BEFORE you finish your purchase. The law requires retailers to include on your receipt the total number of single-use bags provided & the total fee.


2. Bagging a new revenue stream:

The state says the new fee will raise about $27 million per year. Two things to know:

·        With some stores no longer offering the bags, they won’t raise money for the state. So, that $27 million figure is suspect.

·        The law includes a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags beginning July 1, 2021, so the revenue will disappear after two years unless legislators remove or delay the ban.


3. Cities & towns can bag a ban:

According to, 18 Connecticut municipalities have adopted bag restrictions or bans, which the state law allows. Click on the link to see the list.


4. Where can I bag more information?

The state Department of Revenue Services has a list of Frequently Asked Questions here.