Plastic pollution: Will New Jersey towns ban all plastic bags regardless of size?

Plastic bag in tree

SCOTT FALLON / NORTHJERSEY.COM – When Hoboken’s plastic bag ban went into effect in January, customers were still able to carry their groceries home in — yes — plastic bags.

Hoboken is one of several municipalities across New Jersey — like Glen Rock, Stafford and Jersey City — whose “bans” still lets customers buy plastic bags that are slightly thicker than traditional grocery store bags and are billed as reusable.

Some environmentalists say this is a loophole that doesn’t do enough to tackle plastic waste in New Jersey. Municipal officials counter that it’s a start toward a complete ban while still greatly reducing the number of bags used by customers …

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1 COMMENT

  1. The disenthrallment of human being from nature is self evident in convenient plastic waste pollution that surrounds us; it’s everywhere!
    In the last 50 years or so the “free market corporate power” has unleashed a pollution phenomena never before possible under human enterprises in the pursuit of convenience and profit motive. None of these decisions were democratically instituted but rather closed door corporate pursuits of profits by promoting unnecessary and wasteful products through the accelerated use of plastic and plastic types. No public advocacy or due diligence guarded the public against what is in reality hidden costs to consumers, cumulative impacts on the environment and the degrading of our common spaces and remaining natural places. The plastic bag is the tip of the plastic pollution iceberg; but it is a necessary first step in some long overdue reaction to the plastic pollution crisis.
    Collective not Individual Problem
    This manmade self inflicted crisis and sin against life is part of a systemic culture of consumption for profit laissez faire nightmare. To argue that it is an individual problem of self-policing, rather than a social problem of the collective is naïve and only aids the polluter for profit. If individual responsibility was the answer, it obviously has failed, as has the various laws and ordinances of sanitation best practices, and littering. When a large corporation stamps its products with recycle symbols of the seven types of plastic it mocks the consumer, who lacks conscience discipline, and the alleged markets that wish to retrieve the waste product, that in the case of mass convenience consumptions is staggering. When we look around at the overall phenomena we see, there is no escape, and only denial of what we have done to our landscapes and waterways beyond reason. We must ponder how are the CEO’s of the corporate entities that allow this waste not ashamed or concerned with the situation created? The answer is simply, greed.
    It now stands self-evident the only hope is good government’s curtailment and bans on the plastic waste products of convenience. Please explain why it is such a Herculean Task to require the common person to shop with a canvass bag(s)? If we cannot even make this simple social behavior change than we are a race of weaklings and thoughtless zombies.If Corporations are people, they are thoughtless people

    When corporations in the name of their stockholders let loose this senseless endeavor they showed corporations if people are irresponsible, uncaring, and purposely blind to the impacts they inflict on us all. The plastic bag element is exceptionally ridiculous because it is the most easy and likely humanly possible to remedy in short order. It has become some overdone form of kindness in its practice; even containers with handles or single items that can be carried are bagged automatically by cashiers, or store policy, which allows such overboard customer satisfaction.

    Hidden Costs Passed on to you.

    Hidden costs in these convenient waste products; meaning the manufacturer evades and passes off to the taxpayer or sales prices. The costs of litter abatements or lack thereof, which degrade the quality of all of us, name one place where plastic debris cannot be found? You can’t! Finally a fact; recycling never worked, because it could not handle the massive amounts of materials, has finally been declared a failure overall. Locally here in Parsippany our tipping fees have increased due to the factors here mentioned. Big oil actually waste resources in plastic production, converting petroleum into plastic waste products rather than gasoline. (Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. It only takes 14 bags for the equivalent of gas required to drive one mile.)

    Not Political. Community not individual

    People whom may vote or voice against this plastic bag ban ordinance are favoring corporate power over the power of the local residents and taxpayers and apparently are not alarmed by the plastic pollution that abounds. The issue is not a politically divisive one, but one of necessity and sustainability and respect for life in general.
    Support the local plastic ban; don’t fall for the plastic/petroleum industries hype of job loss and inconvenience for shoppers. To them it’s all about profits by any means necessary including continued pollution and instant waste. In a town like Parsippany it is imperative, these multi-billion dollar corporations, which evade taxes and benefit through rebates at the same time can well afford to care for their Homeland instead. Its time that People put their community, Country and environment before their own selfish and in many, many cases, senseless convenience.
    Never has our environments of earth been more transformed by human action in negative impacts and cumulative effects as the thoughtless, what amounts to crime against nature of senseless for profit convenient waste consumption.

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