Wilton, Connecticut Working At Grass Roots Level To Go Green

In January of 2011, The Wilton Board of Selectman approved a $2,500 grant for the “Wilton Go Green” educational campaign to inform residents of the negative impact of plastic and paper bags on the environment. The goal, over 6 months, was to get at least 50% of Wiltonians to use reusable bags. At the heart of the initiative was a design contest to develop artwork from school children that was printed on 2,000 reusable shopping bags and distributed FREE from March to June to promote use of reusable shopping bags throughout Wilton.
Unfortunately, the results of the contest and initiative fell short of 50%, and so the Wilton Board of Selectman is looking to take further action.  Although the initiative did raise citizen awareness, and the use of recycled shopping bags went up from 8-10% to over 20%, the results have not lived up to the goals Wilton wants.
Last fall, The Board of Selectmen heard from members of Westport, Connecticut’s Representative Town Meeting who spearheaded a successful campaign to ban plastic bags in September 2008, the first measure in the state.  According to the Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment’s Web site, Westport’s ban of plastic bags has resulted in a 70% increase in the use of reusable shopping bags.  Wilton is also looking to California counties such as Santa Cruz, Marin and Los Angeles for inspiration and direction where the movement to ban plastic bags has been successful.
For more information about the steps Wilton, Connecticut is taking towards the use of custom reusable shopping bags, go to The Wilton Bulletin.

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