As almost 20 Connecticut cities and towns have passed ordinances, or are considering bans on single use plastic bags, the push for a statewide ban is gathering serious momentum at the State Capitol.
“Westport has transitioned very effectively. You can change behaviors, we want to do it for the state,” says Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.
Sen. Will Haskell (D-Westport) adding, “You know, when Norwalk did this they paired it with a community wide initiative to make sure that low income folks have access to reusable bags.”
The association that represents all the grocery retailers is now on board too, saying it would be easier to live with a statewide ban.
On Thursday, lawmakers on the Committee on Children started working on a proposed statewide ban on sugary soft drinks on children’s menus. Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) saying, “There has to be a place where children learn the right way to eat and nutrition is very important and banning the drinks
is part of good nutrition for children.”
Some Republicans aren’t sure that menus are the right place. Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) saying, “I think what we need to do is educate the public on how much sugar there actually is in a drink.”
Another proposed ban is also aimed at the health of young people. While lawmakers acknowledge that vaping can be of some help for adults attempting to wean off of tobacco, they are proposing a total ban on any flavored electronic nicotine dispensing systems because, they say the flavors are targeted to the youth audience, which is vaping in alarming numbers down to middle school.
Sen. Mary Abrams (D-Meriden) saying, “They’re hooking our children onto these and so I think it’s time that we stepped up and did something about that.”
But some Republicans find this position a bit hypocritical, Sen. Kelly noting, “Right now the vaping industry is legal and that’s what they want to do with marijuana, is make it legal.”
Advocates for marijuana note they are only pushing for legalization for adults.