New Jersey’s ban of plastic bags takes effect

One of the strictest bans on single use plastic items in the U.S. goes into effect


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Signs outside stores started popping up early this spring to help prepare customers

August Hobbs, News Writer

New Jersey became the first state to enact a ban on both single-use paper and plastic bags in a law that went into effect on May 4. 

The law, which was signed by Governor Phil Murphy in November of 2020, put a restriction on stores giving away and selling single use plastic and paper bags. Murphy did this in an effort to reduce the pollution created when producing plastic and paper bags and waste made when they are thrown away.

“I think that people will take the initiative to bring their own bags or buy their own bags that way we don’t accumulate waste,’’ says sophomore Katelyn Loven. “There’s already a bunch of landfills with a bunch already.’’

According to Bloomberg, New Jersey is the number one state in the nation for toxic Superfund sites with 113.

“I think the intention is really good, especially for how it affects the environment,” junior Elaine Liu said.  “But I think a lot of people will be upset about it and it won’t be as convenient anymore.’’ 

The law also bans restaurants from using food containers made of polystyrene foam. However, the ban allows for pharmacies and convenience stores to continue using single use plastic bags, according to Fox 5 New York.

“I think it will definitely shift certain aspects of physical pollution in waters but, I think overall there’s still a lot of other things happening that are damaging the environment, so this is kind of just a small step,’’ Liu said.