Come July, what if you forget your bag? It happens. Retailers can still sell recyclable paper bags at checkout for a minimum of 10 cents apiece. Some shops may also sell reusable totes or provide cardboard boxes in lieu of bags if you ask.
Otherwise, now is the time to start getting in the habit of bringing your own reusable bags (or basket, or box). So next time you're heading out the door, remember to do a "P.K.W.B." check. Phone. Keys. Wallet. Bags. The four things no one should ever leave home without.
It’s not a bad idea to start now, considering that many retailers already charge a small fee for single-use bags or offer you incentives when you bring reusable bags. Hunger Mountain Coop, for example, will donate five cents to the Montpelier Food Pantry.
Still, Vermonters are not completely bidding good riddance to all single-use plastic bags. While this “bag ban” doesn’t discriminate based on plastic thickness the way some bans do, it is a lot more nuanced than its nickname implies. Here’s what it does not cover:
It’s also worth noting that the July bag ban legislation tackles single-use plastic straws, stirrers and polystyrene in one fell swoop, hence why National Geographic calls it the “the most comprehensive plastic bags ban in the U.S.” The July deadline coincides with the Universal Recycling Law’s food scrap landfill ban, too. So, it's full steam ahead!
To learn more about Vermont's single-use plastics ban in July, visit: https://dec.vermont.gov/content/single-use-products-law
Dora Chi is the ECO AmeriCorps member at CVSWMD. She does a P.K.W.B. (Phone, keys, wallet, bags) check before she leaves for the day and always keeps a reusable bag in her coat pocket, just in case.