Author of plastic bag ban bill says it needs to be tweaked to address home delivery issues
The Democratic state lawmaker behind New Jersey’s plastic bag bans says that the law needs to be changed after people have become inundated with reusable bags from home delivery.
It’s been nearly five months since the ban went into effect, and it is still getting mixed reviews from the public. Some say they have no problem bringing their own, reusable bags. But others say it has become a burden.
It is considered to be the nation’s strictest ban on paper and plastic products. But state Sen. Bob Smith says it needs to be tweaked.
“We did 95% of it right,” Smith says.
Smith is the chairman of the state Senate environment committee and spent six years as the mayor of Piscataway.
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“The single big issue, which is still a small issue in comparison to all of the materials that are in the environment, is this delivery issue. And we're going to solve it. We're going to solve it by the end of the year,” Smith says.
People who have been getting their groceries delivered to their homes say that they now have a stockpile of reusable bags, which are adding up.
Smith says he will address this issue. One possible fix is allowing home delivery to once again use paper bags or cardboard boxes. But he says that paper bags won’t be showing up in grocery stores again.
“The energy used to produce them is huge,” Smith says. “If you're going to do something this big, don't go small. Paper bags coming out of supermarkets was a large source of waste.”
And Smith has a message for those annoyed by having to bring their own bags.
“Change is hard. Alright? Go to the hospital, have your blood tested. If you have some problems with this bill, go to the hospital have your blood tested. Ask them to test for micro plastics in your blood. You won't have a problem after that,” he says.
A hearing on the change to the bag ban will be held in Trenton on Oct. 6.