NJ lawmakers eye plastic bag banPosted: Updated:
Legislation being proposed at the state level would take away grocery shoppers' choice of paper or plastic on checkout lines in New Jersey.
Two assemblymen are pushing legislation that would ban plastic bags statewide. District 7 assemblymen Herb Conaway (D) and Jack Conners (D) want to phase out the bags over the next three years at all stores larger than 10,000 square feet.
Conservation activists say the plastic bags take too long to decompose and are contaminating the environment. Supporters of the proposed ban include Hackensack River Keeper Bill Sheehan.
"These products don't break down in the environment," says Sheehan. "They just clutter up the place."
The ban would make New Jersey the first state in the country to outlaw the bags. ShopRite has taken a few steps to alleviate the problem by selling cheap, reusable canvas sacks and offering cash refunds for returned plastic bags.
"We believe that everybody needs to do their part to make our environment greener and at ShopRite, this is the one thing we know that we can do," says company spokesperson Karen Meleta.