It’s been over eight months since the ban in New Jersey, but I hope you’ve gotten used to the lack of single-use bags at supermarket checkouts.
But now you may be dealing with another problem: what to do with those reusable bags?
Advocates now suggest there are gaps in the process. Online shoppers are flooded with reusable bags that they probably don’t need, but other individuals and groups can use them.
Legislation to address this gap appears to be on the backburner for now, but groups are working to take on the challenge themselves.
According to nj.com, no legal action, if any, to fine-tune New Jersey’s bag ban will take place for at least a few months.
The law, considered by a Senate committee in 2022, gives grocers the option to use certain single-use paper bags for delivery and curbside pickup orders.In addition, use reusable bags. Grocers and delivery service providers need to figure out ways for consumers to return bags and plan to reuse or donate the bags.
“We don’t need a power of attorney,” Linda Doherty, president and CEO of the New Jersey Food Council, told New Jersey 101.5.
Doherty said the Food Council is working with various stakeholder groups to develop “innovative solutions” related to e-commerce. Ideally, customers who regularly receive reusable bags have a bag drop-off spot within their community where they can collect, sanitize, and distribute to communities, food banks, and senior groups in need. have.
“This effort will close the loop on this little gap,” said Dougherty.
Between May and December, New Jersey grocery stores and convenience stores removed about 4.8 billion plastic bags and about 96 million paper bags from circulation, Dougherty said.
The Food Council has voted against a bill calling for the return of single-use paper bags. Under the law, as long as the bags contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled content, they are an option for delivery and pickup orders.
“This program is the most successful program in the country and it’s groundbreaking, so we don’t want to back down,” said Doherty. “Why reintroduce paper bags when you can come up with a system that allows you to collect reusable bags in your community?”
Dino Flammia is a reporter for the New Jersey 101.5. You can contact him at his [email protected].
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