New Jersey lawmakers proposes ban on sale of nonflushable baby wipes

Under state Sen. Joe Cryan’s bill, stores would face fines of up to $10,000 for selling wipes. It would not be an offense to keep some wipes in one’s pocket.

Mar 3, 2023, 12:47 AM

Updated 508 days ago

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Should the sale of nonflushable baby wipes be banned in the state of New Jersey? One Democratic state lawmakers says, “Yes.”
“The wipes are the bane of the existence of the sewage industry in New Jersey,” says state Sen. Joe Cryan.
Cryan is the author of the bill banning nonflushable wipes. He’s also executive director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority. He says he’s sick and tired of flushed wipes causing clogs in septic and sewer systems.
“Frankly when they come together like this, they’re almost like granite. Alright? So, it’s not something you can simply hose off or things like that. They take extensive hand work to remove,” Cryan says.
Under Cryan’s bill, stores would face fines of up to $10,000 for selling wipes. It would not be an offense to keep some wipes in one’s pocket.
“I’m a grandfather of a 1-year-old, plus four other grandchildren and one on the way. Not taking on that lobby, by any stretch of the imagination,” Cryan says.
But Republican lawmakers in New Jersey are balking at the idea. State Assembly Member Brian Bergen tweeted, “New Jersey Democrats in the Legislature are absolutely nuts.”
Middletown Mayor Tony Perry wrote, “This is the peak of stupidity but typical of Trenton.” He urged voters in November to “flush Joe Cryan’s political career down the toilet.”
“If you want to be a legislator in New Jersey, you learn to compromise pretty fast,” Cryan says. “A quick tweet here and a couple of name calls and this actually has caught on a little bit.”
Cryan says he doesn’t really want a ban, but a starting point for a discussion about making safer wipes.
“Do I think we’re going to remove wipes from store shelves? Absolutely not. But maybe, hopefully we can get manufactures to address the issue.”
During a press event in New Milford on Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy said that he was not aware of the bill.


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