Reports: Vt. plastic ban, compost laws making an impact

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:34 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s been almost three years since the ban on single-use plastics and food waste laws went into effect in Vermont. Two new reports show that while the laws are making an impact, some consumers remain confused.

When it comes to single-use plastics, researchers with the University of Vermont found Vermonters bring home six fewer plastic bags a week since the law went into effect and 66% say the environmental benefit of the plastic bag ban outweighs economic costs.

For food waste, 85% of households are composting and food scrap separation increased by 48%.

“Overall, I think what we found was that there was quite high levels of support for both laws -- which was exciting to see given the public discussion and public dialogue when they both went into place. We also found some evidence that they are having important impacts,” said Emily Belarmino, a researcher from the Gund Institute for Environment and UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Researchers say there is still room for growth though. They identified a need for more education around composting practices, especially when it comes to compostable plastics that replaced single-use plastics, and what businesses should be using.

Related Stories:

Report finds Vermont struggling to reduce waste as landfill fills up

Vt. lawmakers seek ban on compostable products with PFAS

State data shows Vermonters continue to compost

Casella working with UVM researchers to find food scrap composting solutions

Vt. sees boom in food scrap haulers from last year’s compost law

Food scrap haulers see uptick in business after statewide compost law

Checking in on Vermont’s composting law compliance

Vermont households make effort to comply with compost law

Compost entrepreneurs sprout up in Vermont

Scott signs single-use plastics law