Single-Use Plastic Bag Fee – Effective August 1, 2019

Effective August 1, 2019 (cite: Public Act 19-117, § 355), retailers making sales in Connecticut of tangible personal property to the public are required to collect a $0.10 fee per single-use plastic checkout bag.

The store must indicate the number of single-use plastic checkout bags provided, and the total amount of the fee charged on any transaction receipt provided to a customer.

"Single-use checkout bag" means a plastic bag with a thickness of less than four mils that is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale. "Single-use checkout bag" does not include: (A) a paper bag; (B) a reusable plastic bag (four mils or thicker); (C) a bag provided prior to checkout that is used only to contain meat, seafood, loose produce or other unwrapped food items; (D) a newspaper bag; or (E) a laundry or dry cleaning bag.

"Store" means any retailer, as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-407, that maintains a retail store within the state and sells tangible personal property directly to the public.

Any single-use plastic bag fees collected by a store are excluded from gross receipts for purposes of sales and use taxes. Each store must report all single-use checkout bag fees it collects to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) with its sales tax return.

Municipalities are permitted to enact or enforce an ordinance concerning single-use checkout bags made of plastic, provided such ordinance is as restrictive or more restrictive as the provisions of Public Act 19-117, § 355. Municipalities are also permitted to enact or enforce an ordinance concerning single-use checkout bags made of paper, including, but not limited to, enabling each store to charge a fee for any such bag distributed to a customer. Any such municipal fees are subject to sales and use taxes.

The provisions of Public Act 19-117, § 355 are effective August 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021, after which date, single-use plastic checkout bags are scheduled to be banned.

DRS has compiled a list of questions it has received concerning implementation of the single-use bag fee, and has issued an Office of the Commissioner Guidance Regarding the Single-Use Plastic Bag Fee.