Support grows for reworking NJ bag ban
Support is growing for a reworking of New Jersey's controversial plastic bag ban.
State Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cape May, called for "a complete overhaul" of the single use bag ban that has been in effect since the beginning of May.
With reusable bags piling up in the homes and cars of New Jersey residents, Testa says the state should look to New Jersey manufacturers for the solution.
We should have capitalized on the manufacturing power of in-state companies, who are capable of filling the plastic void with paper bags," Testa said in a news release, "The bags could be made from recycled paper, and after use, they could be easily recycled again."
The glut of reusable bags has been frustrating for many New Jersey residents. Especially for those who use grocery delivery services. They are banned from using paper or plastic bags, so each new order comes with the cloth bags.
Testa claims the import of the stitched reusable bags has nearly doubled to 500 million bags. Bags that are now often thrown out, and not reused.
"It is time to go back to the drawing board and get this right," Testa said.
"This is another example of Trenton Democrats leaping before they looked. In their zeal to appease the Governor’s political allies, they passed a flawed bill that has created more problems. It is time to go back to the drawing board and get this right." - NJ Sen. Michael Testa
It's worth noting, before you do throw the bags out, New Jersey food pantries are in desperate need of them. They will soon be subject to the plastic bag ban, and need the cloth bags to package food for those seeking assistance. Where you can donate can be found here.
State Sen. Bob Smith, D-Monmouth, is the sponsor of the original bag ban. He says he is open to reworking the law.
Last week, Smith indicated he was working on new legislation that would provide options for online grocery orders.
Among those options is forcing the delivery service to take back unwanted bags or packaging groceries in cardboard boxes.
Smith says he is also open to discussing the idea of paper bags, but not as a primary option.
Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.