N.J. single-use plastic bag ban starts today

Shoppers caught unprepared, but some show support for N.J.’s new plastic bag ban

One buyer walked out of ShopRite retaining 20 bananas in his hands. “I completely forgot this was starting,” he remarked on learn how to his automobile to flee the rain. “This is ridiculous.”

A normal at Acme Marketplace strode into her native retailer with a reusable bag on the able. ”It’s about time — that’s what everyone is pronouncing, and I agree,” Victoria Laszlow mentioned. “So I got to bring a bag of my own, I get to collect cute bags, what’s the problem?”

Mardel Zuniga, a mom together with her kids in cart at Walmart, was once stuck off guard when she arrived on the retailer to seek out the plastic bag rollers had been empty. “You can buy these for 99 cents,” a shop worker periodically introduced to consumers trying out.

Because the ban on single-use plastic baggage started Wednesday morning in any respect New Jersey shops, customers had a blended bag of reactions.

Some had been relieved New Jersey was once taking extra steps towards sustainability. Others mentioned they had been annoyed by means of the brand new laws or perplexed at what precisely the ban implemented to.

The regulation, signed by means of Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 4, 2020, method grocery shops, eating places, colleges, delis, film theaters, meals vans, retail shops and different companies can now not hand out or promote single-use plastic baggage. It additionally restricts grocery shops from offering or promoting paper baggage. Paper baggage will nonetheless be allowed at small shops like boutiques, bodegas and comfort shops.

Beginning Wednesday, all eateries and shops within the Lawn State should additionally forestall offering or promoting polystyrene merchandise like cups and plates — frequently known as Styrofoam. Plastic straws, whilst now not banned, can best be equipped to consumers at cafes and different companies in the event that they ask for them, consistent with a regulation that started in November.

Shops with extra plastic baggage can recycle them or donate them to meals pantries, that have a six-month reprieve from the ban.

Consumers use their very own baggage at Forestall & Store in Bloomfield. These days is the primary day in New Jersey for the ban of single-use plastic baggage in any respect retailer registers, and paper baggage at huge grocery shops.Wednesday, Might 4, 2022. Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media

“This sucks. I had to spend $10 for all these reusable bags. They took all the bags out, all the Styrofoam cups and plates. What they should at least do for the first week is give you a couple of reusable bags (for free),” mentioned Rose Zane, a 70-year-old Pennsauken resident.

”I must have got here the day past and grabbed a host of plastic baggage. I really like the ones for rubbish containers at house and lunch baggage,” she added, as she loaded up her automobile on the Walmart in Cherry Hill.

Tanya Norton, of Englewood Cliffs, additionally was hoping for a extra slow transition.

She arrived on the sign up at Acme with every week’s value of groceries in her buying groceries cart and no plastic baggage in sight. After some concept, she made the verdict to forgo buying reusable baggage — no less than for these days — and positioned the pieces immediately into her cart as an alternative.

”I assumed they’d nonetheless end the rest baggage no less than, however they simply took all of them away,” Norton mentioned.

RELATED: N.J.’s plastic bag ban begins these days. Tricks to know earlier than you move to the shop.

Catherine Lopez, a 31-year-old resident from Camden, additionally didn’t notice the bag ban was once in position till she reached the sign up at Walmart.

“I had no idea,” Lopez mentioned in Spanish whilst loading her automobile with soda bottles and paper towels. “I plan to buy reusable bags but today just happened to have extra plastic bags in my trunk I could use.”

A number of consumers visiting New Jersey grocery shops Wednesday morning both introduced in recyclable baggage, nylon reusable baggage, canvas baggage or walked in with plastic baggage from their house stash — which the brand new regulation allows.

Whilst thought to be most probably the strictest bag ban within the country, there are nonetheless some exceptions.

All shops can proceed to offer unfastened produce baggage and baggage used to bundle meat or dry cleansing. They are able to additionally proceed promoting rubbish baggage, Ziploc-style baggage, puppy waste baggage, meat in Styrofoam packaging and egg cartons, a few of that are made out of polystyrene fabrics.

Previous to the ban taking impact, grocery shops inspired customers to herald reusable baggage, load up on plastic baggage from house, believe greener possible choices or, merely, move bagless.

Some huge grocers even gave away unfastened reusable baggage previous to the ban’s implementation so that you can get ready customers. For instance, Forestall & Store places in New Jersey had a promotion Monday and Tuesday the place buyers may just obtain one unfastened reusable bag every, no acquire required.

However some customers had been nonetheless stuck bagless like Carlos Pena, who was once visiting the Bloomfield Forestall & Store location on Wednesday morning. Pena loaded his pieces immediately into the buying groceries cart this time, however mentioned he would slightly use plastic baggage and even be capable to pay for paper baggage.

“I don’t like it because it’s an inconvenience. I don’t mind paying the extra dollar or two,” he mentioned.

The shop is offering its consumers with “a few options” if stuck unprepared at checkout, mentioned Stefanie Shuman, a Forestall & Store spokesperson who walked NJ Advance Media in the course of the retailer’s Bloomfield location Wednesday.

Reusable baggage that vary in worth from 50 cents to $2.50 may also be bought on-site. The extra expensive bag, known as the “Community Bag,” is insulated and $1 from each and every acquire is going to an area New Jersey charity decided on by means of the shop, Shuman mentioned. You’ll be able to additionally observe in Pena’s footsteps and forgo the baggage altogether.

“Of course, there are a few frustrations, a few hiccups — as with any change,” Shuman mentioned. “But the customers generally today in Bloomfield totally get it.”

RELATED: I’ve lived with a plastic bag ban for three years. Right here’s my tips about get by means of.

One buyer bumped into the Wegmans in Cherry Hill bagless. A couple of mins later she ran out — broccoli in a produce bag and a loaf of bread already in its personal packaging in hand.

Pushing a cart down Aisle 19 on the similar Wegmans, Don Hollingsworth mentioned he didn’t suppose the brand new regulation “made sense.”

“All these (new reusable) bags are going to end up in the ocean and landfill anyway too,” mentioned Hollingsworth, 58, of Haddon Township. “I still have about 3,000 of the single-use plastic bags at home and I plan to sell them.”

Consumers too can choose to make use of canvas baggage, laundry baskets, biodegradable baggage, tote baggage and cardboard containers.

Even supposing single-use plastic baggage can nonetheless be bought on-line, advocates and professionals mentioned the hope is folks cut back the quantity of plastic they use frequently.

A couple of shops down from Wegmans at House Depot, Lydia DeMonsi, a retiree of Cherry Hill, applauded the brand new ban.

“I’ve been using reusable for a couple months,” she mentioned of her personal private bag ban. Then again, as she was once best choosing up flora and fertilizer Wednesday she didn’t want any baggage.

For more info at the ban seek advice from nj.com/plasticbagban. Nonetheless have questions on New Jersey’s plastic bag ban? Ask them right here.

Our journalism wishes your give a boost to. Please subscribe these days to NJ.com.

Jackie Roman could also be reached at jroman@njadvancemedia.com.

Steven Rodas could also be reached at srodas@njadvancemedia.com. Observe him on Twitter @stevenrodasnj.

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