Plastic Shopping Bags May Be Making A Comeback In NJ

Bridget Mulroy
Plastic shopping bags may be making a comeback in New Jersey.Photo by(Juanmonino/iStock)

Plastic shopping bags may be making a comeback in New Jersey. Bill S-3114 is reevaluating the plastic shopping bag ban and working to bring the contraband items back into the garden state. 

The bill isn’t fully challenging the prohibition on plastic shopping bags, it’s pushing for a time extension on the original legislation banning plastic shopping bags. The original bill was voted on in 2020 and wasn’t fully implemented until May 2022. 

New Jersey residents are having a hard time adjusting to the new way of life and may appreciate the most recent bill addressing this concern.

Bill S-3114 is pushing to allow “packaging options, for certain grocery orders for three years; requires [a] program for disposition of reusable bags; extends [the] timeframe for use of certain bags by food banks and pantries.”

Since May of 2022 when plastic bags were eliminated from New Jersey stores and shopping centers, food banks, homeless shelters, online shoppers, and certain businesses have begun to feel the impact of the plastic bag supply drop. They depended on plastic bags for multiple reasons. 

On their behalf, the bill is arguing that sanitary purposes are among some of the leading causes for why plastic bags should be brought back, even if for only a short period.

Linda Doherty serves as the president of the New Jersey Food Council, the organization oversees more than a thousand supermarkets within New Jersey. In a statement on the bill addressing the concerns surrounding the current plastic bag legislation, she said, “We were supportive of banning single-use shopping bags that includes both paper and plastic, and fully supporting reusable bags as the alternative. This meets environmental and anti-litter goals, and keeps our communities clean.”

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