‘I think it’s nonsense:’ Gov. Murphy signs legislation to ban single-use plastic, paper bags
Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Wednesday 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. It essentially means stores, food services and supermarkets will not be allowed to carry them. Restaurants can still use paper. Some lawmakers say it's a win for the environment, but a gentleman that spoke with News 12 leaving the supermarket disagrees.
“I think it’s nonsense,” says Byron Sondergard, of Metuchen. “There are plenty of reasons for the plastic bags, besides grocery stores, including picking up dog poop, so I think it’s silly.”
There are exceptions to the law, including allowing plastic for raw or butchered meat sold in refrigerators and any food product that a manufacturer pre-packages with styro-foam.
The American Recyclable Plastic Bag Alliance has long advocated against similar bans like this. Its director, Zachary Taylor, says, “Banning plastic bags puts additional, unnecessary pressure on struggling small businesses and imperils their capacity to recover from the economic challenges the pandemic has caused. The ban forces businesses to procure and provide bags that are much more expensive - if they can be acquired at all - and ironically, also worse for the environment. As a result, consumers will see higher prices and manufacturing jobs across the state will be at risk.”
The prohibition stems from environmental concerns.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.