State Sen. Kennedy urges limiting packaging materials to protect environment

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BRANFORD— A Connecticut state senator says he wants something to be done about all the packaging that retailers use to send merchandise purchased online.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. says he is planning to introduce legislation aimed at stopping overuse of large boxes and packaging materials in 2016.

“We’ve all received packages from online retailers that came in an oversized box, stuffed with packaging materials, and wondered why it is necessary. In many cases it’s not needed and is extremely wasteful,” Kennedy, the state Senate chair of the Environment Committee, said.

The Branford Democrat says the packaging litters homes and landfills and costs are mounting for cities and towns that dispose of it. He says that packaging materials are the largest category of solid waste in Connecticut, and amount to about 1/3 of the total solid waste towns need to dispose of.

Kennedy was discussing the proposal at an event Monday with the representative of a Durham business that has reduced its use of packing materials.

One option Kennedy may propose is to require boxes used to ship purchases be no larger than necessary, or to require them to be made of recyclable materials. Another option is to make a labeling system to help customers identify items that are shipped in “frustration-free” packaging.