Has New Jersey's plastic bag ban helped the environment? Not likely, new study shows
It's been almost two years since New Jersey banned plastic bags, but a new report is questioning how much the rule has helped the environment.
A new report from market research group Freedonia Custom Research shows the ban might have added to the plastic consumption in the state.
In 2022, following the ban going into effect, total bag volumes declined by more than 60% to just under 900 million bags. However, the study shows the shift resulted in a nearly 300% increase in plastic consumption to make them. The study suggests restaurants and grocery contribute to this number with more reusable bags sold as customers forget their own.
The report finds the average grocery store is making about $200,000 on reusable bags.
The study also found that New Jersey retailers faced significant changes in their front-end business operations due to the bag ban.