Gov. Murphy signs bill to ban single-use plastic, paper bags
Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation prohibiting single-use plastic and paper bags and plastic foam containers.
The ban goes into effect in May 2022, with New Jersey joining eight states to ban plastic bags. New Jersey lawmakers say it’s the first state with a paper bag ban.
The law prohibits the kinds of bags customers get from restaurants that do takeout and from groceries and other stores, but doesn't apply to reusable bags like the large blue bags Ikea has or bags made of nylon or cloth.
"We're going to have to get used to bringing our reusable bags into our various grocery stores and bodegas and alike,” says state Assemblyman John McKeon, who is a part of the state Environment and Solid Waste Committee.
The prohibition stems from environmental concerns.
"This is really just essential for us to do our part as far as being environmentally responsible,” McKeon says. "We should all be proud as New Jerseyans that we have the most restrictive and comprehensive plastic bag ban in the nation."
The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance has long fought against similar bans like this.
The group says it supports sustainability but that prohibiting the use of plastic bags puts a financial burden on families and could lead to worse alternatives. News 12 reached out for comment but didn't hear back.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.