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Legislature Mulls Tax for Plastic Bags at Grocery Stores

A New Jersey Senate Committee voted last week to approve a new 5-cent fee for plastic supermarket bags that will fund environmental cleanup.

A new Senate bill could have you paying more for plastic bags at the grocery store.  

The Carryout Bag Reduction and Recycling Act was approved by a 4-0 vote of the Senate Environmental Energy Committee last week and would require stores to charge a 5-cent fee per plastic food bag at the checkout aisle beginning in 2014.  

On the other hand, the bill would also give a 5-cent rebate or credit for every reusable bag provided by a shopper. In addition, the bill would require stores to only offer recyclable carryout bags by 2015. 

The bill will soon be taken up in the Assembly, according to NJ.com

The 5-cent fee would go toward the Department of Environmental Protection’s Barnegat Bay Restoration Fund, which works to improve the water quality of polluted Barnegat Bay.

The bill was first introduced in 2008. 

Innumerable other states and towns have passed laws in recent years to curb the use of plastic bags, which are infamous for polluting waterways and beaches. 

So what do you think? Would you complain if you had to pay 5 cents for every plastic bag at the grocery store if you knew it was going to a good cause? Tell us in the comments below!

Mary Jerkowicz January 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM
This is long overdue! I believe this will teach people to be more responsible where they throw their plastic bags. Too many out there in the environment! Just drive along the GSP and count how many you see in the trees or on the side of the road!! They are such an environmental hazard and eyesore! I bring my reusable bags to the store. If I have any plastic bags or dry cleaning bags they go in the drop off bin to be recycled. I do know that plastic bags from any store can be recycled and made into decking lumber. I know people think we're paying taxed too much but in the scope of things isn't an additional 5 cents worth a cleaner environment?
Ariel Dybner January 16, 2013 at 12:37 AM
"Innumerable other states and towns"? Really, can't be numbered - or was this just some lazy reporting. While I'm not a fan of plastic bags, these bags weigh less than paper bags and thus cost less (both in CO2 emissions and dollars and cents) to transport. Recent studies have found an increase in food-borne diseases as a result of using the reusable bags.
MR SOLANO January 16, 2013 at 05:54 PM
MR Solano. ONe o the greatest news i have heard ,,, love the idea,, i will b glad to bring my own shopping bags to store.. PEOPLE WE ARE HELPING OUR PLANET!!!! RECYCLING MUST BE A LAW!!!
Nelly Reyes January 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM
I have been using cloth bags for a long period of time. So this just makes me happy.
Mike February 11, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Another reason to leave NJ added to the list.

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