Is this the end of plastic bags for carrying your groceries home? Governor Murphy has not as yet signed the Plastic bag fee bill (A-3267). If he does it means you will have to pay a nickel for each plastic bag a store gives you to use to carry your purchases home.
Per NJ.com, “Gov. Phil Murphy deleted language from the state’s $37.4 billion budget Sunday that would have raised millions from a proposed 5-cent fee on plastic supermarket bags, signaling that he may support more stringent restrictions, including a ban.” And thus Murphy has signaled the possible use of a ban on this ubiquitous method of getting our purchases home.
The environmental lobby wants Murphy to support a temporary fee for a few years followed by an outright ban. What they want is a bag law based on California’s law that bans plastic bags and charges a 10-cent fee on paper bags.
I warn you Governor Murphy that if you enact any plastic bag ban and/or tax on the use of, you will be committing political suicide. Remember Governor Florio and the Toilet Tissue tax? Well he does! For it was one of the major reasons that Florio was only a one term governor.
One of the big problems is how people are disposing the bags after getting home. Many seem to end up scattered across our state. There are places at just about any grocery store where you could recycle them, but few seem to do this. I myself use them to line my household garbage bins and to pickup dog poop.
If plastic bags disappear from the consumer landscape I foresee problems. One of which is a health hazard, if you say have some fresh/frozen chicken to take home then there is the salmonella problem. For it will get into the fabric of the reusable bags that will have to replace the disposable plastic bags. This could have very serious health consequences when the same reusable bag is used to carry something like lets say raw vegetables. This is just one instance where our health could be compromised by the simpleton idea of banning plastic bags. Most people will not wash their reusable bags and many who do will not get out all the dangerous germs hiding within the bag itself.
What should be done is an education campaign to educate the public as to how to recycle plastic bags properly. And to encourage the use of reusable bags they should be made available at a low cost for the first few years. But under no circumstances should plastic bags be totally banned! They do have a purpose and sometimes they are the better choice for our public health.
In conclusion I must state that I think this is a grab for more tax money and nothing else! This has nothing to do with the environment nor with teaching us to use reusable bags.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike