New Jersey bans singe-use plastic and paper bags!

Jessica Harris, Author of Bernie’s Escape from Ong Island, lived in New Jersey until 2016. Her family still lives in New Jersey, so she is very excited about this new development in slowing the pollution from single-use plastics! Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed a bill into law that bans single-use plastic and paper bags throughout stores and foodservice businesses. In addition, disposable to-go containers and cups made of polystyrene foam (styrofoam) are also banned. Starting in November 2021, the foodservice industry can only provide plastic straws when requested. Cathrine McCabe, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, made a statement saying, “By banning single-use plastic bags, Governor Murphy and our legislature continue to make New Jersey a national leader in environmental protection and the DEP stands ready to implement these new measures and educate the public.” updated an article on September 28th, 2020, showing states an countries that have plastic bag bans or taxes. Since New Jersey’s bill wasn’t official until November, remember that New Jersey won’t show up on these maps, but it was still very recently updated!

As you can see, many states in the United States do not have any regulations on single-use plastic bags. However, you can still do your part to help slow the pollution from plastic bags! Bring your reusable bags and produce bags when you go shopping. The bags can even be bigger than typical plastic bags, so you can make fewer trips from your car to your house! You can also reach out to your local city hall to discuss how important it is to regulate plastic pollution. Even if it is just your city that bans plastic bags, it could be a trendsetter for the cities around you! If you would like more ways to cut out plastic, take a look back at our Plastic swap list!