Are you ready for the NJ plastic bag ban?

MARGATE – Pack New Jersey! Starting May 4, NJ’s single-use plastic bag ban will go into effect. The law prohibits all stores (including retail businesses), catering businesses and grocery stores from selling or providing customers with single-use plastic bags. Additionally, grocery stores over 2,500 square feet may not supply or sell single-use paper carry-out bags and may instead supply or sell only reusable carry-out bags.

It’s all part of a new state law aimed at reducing trash, waste, and pollution. Plastic bags are largely responsible, but single-use paper bags are also known to waste precious resources and add global warming emissions to the Earth’s atmosphere.

The “Bag Up NJ” campaign is the New Jersey Clean Communities Council’s new single-use plastic and paper bag ban awareness campaign with a simple message: bring your own reusable bags when you shop.

Here are some tips to help you remember your reusable bags the next time you visit the store.

  1. Keep extra bags in the car.
  2. Hang extra bags by the door or next to coats and jackets.
  3. Get lightweight “compressible” bags that fit into a small pouch, to keep in your purse or pockets.
  4. Put a sign on your door as a reminder.
  5. Write “BAGS!” at the top of your shopping lists.

It sounds simple enough, but it takes time to break old habits and create new ones. To reduce the chances of forgetting to bring reusable bags after May 4, shoppers can start training now for the big bag ban.

Learn more about the bag ban here or contact Margate Recycling Coordinator Anthony Edge at 609-822-5038.

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Bryce K. Locke