Delaware’s Revisited Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Effect July 1

Shawn Garvin, secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said the new law closes the unintended loophole.

“By realigning the legislation to further limit the use of film carrier bags,” Garvin said, “we are reducing the litter that too often ends up along our roads, in our waterways and along our shorelines – all detrimental to our environment, including harmful effects on our wildlife and sea creatures.

Hayman agrees with environmentalists and regulators that plastic bags that end up in landfills or waterways “are real dangers to the environment.”

But since he has a bunch of multipurpose plastic bags, “we will keep using them until they wear out. They are essentially reusable at this point. We just keep using them over and over again.

” I understood. It’s probably good for the environment’

Nonetheless, Hayman and other shoppers outside the Giant in Concord Square mall are eager for the new law to take effect.

Justine Tumas and Robin Richman even have their own canvas-like reusable bags with handles — kind stores will still be allowed to distribute.

“We have to do what we can to save the environment,” said Tumas, a retired accounting manager.

Justine Tumas (foreground) has a reusable bag at home but like Robin Richman (in the background, pushing the cart) sometimes forgets to bring it with her to the store. (Cris Barrish/WHY)

If only they can remember to put them in the car or take them to the store, of course.

“What I did was leave them by the front door, but I still don’t catch them,” Tumas said after exiting Giant with groceries in two paper bags with handles that the store provided free.

“So what I probably need to do is empty them and then get them to the car immediately.”

Richman, a real estate agent, keeps his reusable bag in the cargo hold of his SUV, but forgot to take it inside that day. Like Tumas, she left the store with two paper bags.

“Everything to save the environment. But I always forget to bring them in,” Richman said with a laugh.

Dr Yoon Chay has hauled his own large reusable container into Giant, but thinks compliance should be voluntary as stores will only pass the costs on to shoppers.

Yoon Chay predicts that stores will pass compliance costs onto customers. (Cris Barrish/WHY)

“I don’t know if I’m a big fan of being forced to use reusable bags,” he said. “But I see the point. It’s probably good for the environment.”

The new law concerns all businesses except restaurants. Grocery stores can still provide to-go bags to pack items like meat or fish, or to hold loose items like nuts, ground coffee, and candy. But those stores must also have an on-site recycling program for consumers who want to return those bags.

Bryce K. Locke