Tags: paperbags | plasticbags | NewJersey | Gov.Murphy

New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Bill Banning Paper Bags at Supermarkets

plastic bags at a check out station

(Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 25 September 2020 05:50 PM

New Jersey could be the first state to ban single-use paper bags at supermarkets if Gov. Phil Murphy officially turns a newly approved bill into law, NBC News reports.

The New Jersey General Assembly passed the bag ban bill, which would also prohibit single-use plastic bags and limit the use of polystyrene takeout boxes.

The governor’s spokesman Mahen Gunaratna, told The New York Times that Murphy supports the legislation.

"The governor is proud to support the strongest bag ban in the nation,” the spokesman said. “This bill will significantly reduce the harm that these products cause to our environment.”

If Murphy gives the OK, New Jersey will join eight other states that already have passed legislation banning the use of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets.

Environmentalists praised the lawmakers’ decision to approve the bag ban.

“New Jersey Assembly voted to pass the strongest single-use ban on plastics in the country to prioritize our wildlife and our communities over endless plastic waste polluting our waterways,” Doug O’Malley, the director of Environment New Jersey, said in a statement. “We urge Governor Murphy to sign this legislation as quickly as possible.”

The ban would also bar any business that sells or provides food for consumption on or off their premises from providing polystyrene takeout containers or foam cups that hold more than two ounces of liquid. It also would require that plastic straws be given to customers upon request only. The ban would go into effect 18 months after the bill is signed into law.

In 2018, Murphy vetoed a bill that would have added a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic bags, NBC News reports. At the time, the governor called the proposal “insufficient.”

"I cannot support this bill," Murphy said in a statement at the time. "While well intentioned, the approach reflected in this bill strikes me as incomplete and insufficient."

Republican lawmakers and industry groups said they opposed the bill because it can harm small businesses already struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

“This bill impacts manufacturing plants in New Jersey and New Jersey jobs during this terrible economic and pandemic time,” Dennis Hart, the executive director of the Chemistry Council, told The Associated Press.

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New Jersey could be the first state to ban single-use paper bags at supermarkets if Gov. Phil Murphy officially turns a newly approved bill into law, NBC News reports....
paperbags, plasticbags, NewJersey, Gov.Murphy
Friday, 25 September 2020 05:50 PM
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