Environmental group data suggests NJ’s plastic bag ban has had positive impact on environment

Data from Environment America states that New Jersey has avoided using 2.7 billion single-use plastic bags since the ban went into place.

Matt Trapani and Joti Rekhi

Feb 15, 2024, 1:35 AM

Updated 151 days ago

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New research from an environmental group suggests that New Jersey’s strict plastic bag ban is having a positive impact on the environment.
Data from Environment America states that New Jersey has avoided using 2.7 billion single-use plastic bags since the ban went into place.
According to the calculator released in conjunction with this study, Montclair residents avoided using 11.7 million bags. Many residents told News 12 they now have reusable bags.
“A lot of times we have policies that people try to bring in and sometimes there’re negative side effects. This is one that’s like a win-win,” says Montclair resident Erik D’Amato.
In addition to Montclair, Environment America states Newark avoided using 90.3 million bags, Elizabeth 39.7 million and Edison 31.7 million – to name a few.
Proponents say the effectiveness was tied to people’s capacity to change their mindset to remember to bring their reusable bags with them to places like the grocery store.
“We want to make sure that reusable bags are truly reusable. And that people treat them as reusable bags. And we’ve mainly been successful,” says Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.
At annual beach sweeps, volunteers have reported that they’ve seen a major decrease in cleaning up single-use bags.


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