New Jersey has implemented State Law #864.
As of May 4th, all stores in New Jersey are prohibited from providing single-use carryout plastic bags to customers. The bill includes plastic straws and polystyrene containers.
Stores that are caught breaking the law will be fined. Repeat offenders can be fined $1,000 to $5,000.
Clean Ocean Action has been fighting for decades to ban plastics bags. Lightweight as they are, plastic bags amount to millions of pounds of trash every year.
This law will help protect our environment; reducing the plastic that end up in our oceans. One plastic bag can take 1,000 years to decompose in our landfills. For more info, visit Center for Biological Diversity’s website.
The new law hopes to take a chunk out of the number of plastic bags used by New Jersey residents, which previously had been about 4.4 billion a year.
Natures Harvest on Main Street in Blairstown has been preparing their customers for the switch over. Signs have been posted. A customer who would like to be nameless agrees with the ban. “I have been caring my own bag for years. Fossil fuels are used in so many things including plastic bags, why can’t we make a Biodegradable and non-toxic bag?”
Acme, Ace Hardware and Dales Market also have been preparing customers for the law. The stores all offer reusable bags for sale at their registers. A helpful tip from another customer in Ace Hardware, “I leave a box in the back of my car so if I decide to stop at a store after work, I don’t have to carry a bag with me.”
Bob Dylan’s folk song advocating for saving the Planet says, “The times they are a changing.” In the words of the immortal James Brown, “Papa’s Got a Brand-New Bag.”
MB Journe, Contributing Writer
My name is Marybeth Journe, I feel blessed to be living in this part of New Jersey. I have enjoyed this community taking advantage of the lakes and woods. Always supporting the local businesses that make this my home. As a local artist myself, I know many of our residence if not by name, at least by sight. I feel comfortable interviewing others. I have worked for The Paulinskill Valley Chronical where I provided articles, photographs and billing. I consider myself an artist, journalist, naturalist, gardener and a teacher for the YMCA Camp Mason. I look forward to the work ahead