Paper Grocery Bags Could Be Coming Back to New Jersey
Just four months after banning the use of plastic bags and most paper grocery bags, New Jersey is considering reversing course a bit.
How's life been for ya since the ban went into effect back in May? I struggle from time to time.
I knew about the ban almost a year before it got officially instated, but I can't tell you how many times in that first week I forgot canvas/reusable shopping bags. What's even more embarrassing is how often I've forgotten SINCE!
There I am, in most grocery stores fumbling a handful of items to take them out to my car, or having to buy yet another reusable bag because I either left mine in the car or forgot them altogether.
Since May, I've probably spent about $25 on reusable bags from stores like Target and ShopRite, simply because I left the ones I already own at home.
So, like Katiuska Tejada-Rivera, who recently spoke with NJ.com, I have a laundry room and kitchen full of reusable shopping totes. At this point, there are more than I'll probably ever need.
It's an issue lots of New Jersey residents are dealing with. I have received paper shopping bags when at stores in the mall, like H&M and Express, but supermarkets don't offer them.
But NJ.com reports that may be about to change. Officials here in the Garden State recognize the inconvenience of the plastic/paper bag ban. And, even though the benefits of the ban outweigh that inconvenience, New Jersey Senator Bob Smith admits, “We know it’s a problem. We agree it’s a problem.”
Smith suggests NJ consider tweak the ban to allow grocery store delivery services to use paper bags or cardboard boxes to fill their orders.
Smith, who also serves as the chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, stated recently, “We think the solution to the problem is that grocery deliveries can use paper bags and, or, cardboard boxes, either new or reused."
However, it's clear some real discussion at a higher state level would need to take place to allow the distribution of paper bags in grocery stores again.
Experts ask, though, that you not chuck any excess reusable bags in the garbage, because they'll just end up in landfills, just like plastic bags. Stores like Walmart actually offer a recycling bin for reusable bags, so that's worth looking into.