It's been almost a half a year since the Garden State enforced the ban on plastic shopping bags and styrofoam + plastic to-go containers.

It feels like we've asked this question a couple times already, but for the sake of checking in again, how's it going so far?

Some people say the ban should've happened a long time ago while others still aren't convinced the ban was the best call. While the intention seems to be a good one, it hasn't necessarily been the easiest transition for New Jersey shoppers to get used to. For one, the reusable bags you get at the store can get a bit pricey depending on how many you need at one time. Secondly, it's not uncommon for people to have to purchase them every time they do their grocery shopping.


People keep saying that they're still finding it difficult to remember to even bring their bags with them to the store in the first place. The ban went into effect in May and it's still causing a problem - even now in September. So, what's happening is a result is people keep buying so many of these reusable bags that they're overloaded with them. The reusable bags reportedly aren't that cheap to produce, either.

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Now, the state is toying with the idea of having shoppers return their reusable bags so that stores can sanitize them and hand them out to people again rather than people having to purchase new bags every single time they visit the grocery store. The issue is that nobody can predict if people will be satisfied with that solution. We're living in a post-COVID world, after all. Who is to say that people won't be grossed out by handling bags previously touched by so many, not to mention the fact that the bags have even entered people's homes?

You also have to take into consideration what these reusable bags are made out of. Is mass-producing those less of a threat to the environment then, say, paper bags would be? A decision on all of these suggestions is expected to be made soon by NJ legislators.


The pointless plastic bag ban saga continues

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