HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) - Hamden leaders took a major step towards banning plastic bags on Tuesday night.

The council is zeroing in on the type of bags you get at places like supermarkets and convenience stores.

Very soon, that age old question paper or plastic could become irrelevant here in Hamden.

Louis Burch is a leading voice in the push to ban carryout plastic bags in Connecticut.

“We support a ban on plastic bags because of the disproportionate environmental impact they have. They wreak havoc on the marine environment,” said Burch.

Burch, who serves as the Connecticut Program Director for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, considers Tuesday night to be a major victory for his cause.

At Hamden Town Hall, council members took a major step towards eliminating plastic bags from local stores.

“State legislation is coming down the pipeline we know that’s something that’s coming. To be able give Hamden businesses the opportunity to be ahead of that curve, that’s critical,” said Brad Macdowall, Hamden council member.

Town council member Brad Macdowall drafted the proposal.

He says you can see the bags which take hundreds of years to biodegrade into tiny particles all over town and the issue was only getting worse.

“The environmental impact is huge. You can’t walk on the canal line, you can’t go to our parks, you can’t drive on most streets without seeing the kind of litter that’s left behind from these plastic bags,” Macdowall said.

Macdowall says he expected pushback from retailers who stand to lose money if the plan becomes law but says so far, just about everyone has supported the proposal and no one spoke out against it at the meeting.

“Largely, people know that this is something we need to do. They know this is the direction they need to go, and they were really happy to work on it,” said Macdowall.

Burch hopes Hamden adds a customer fee for using paper bags but is pleased overall.

He believes the Hamden proposal along with similar laws in communities like Westport, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, and Weston show that after a decade of hard work momentum is on his side.

“My thought is that within ten years or so these plastic bags are going to be a thing of the past. It’s just a question of how we get there,” Said Burch.

The proposal could become law in early February and go into effect by the summer.

The plan also calls for a soft ban on plastic straws which means customers would have to ask for one before clerks would hand them out.

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