For Plastic Free July, we are taking on single-use plastic bags! The NJ legislature passed a Plastic Bag Bill (A3267 / S2600) last month and it is now in Governor Murphy’s hands. While it seems like a good thing, it is an industry-backed bill.
The Bag Bill contains a 5 cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags, but it also pre-empts adoption of any future local bag ordinances that might be better. A number of towns have already passed them, like Monmouth Beach and Long Beach. They would be protected. Many more are pending like Point Pleasant Beach and Teaneck, but would be superseded upon the governor’s signing.
New Jersey needs a much stronger bill - one that ultimately bans plastic bags over time, a consumer education component, and proper enforcement tools - to be effective and truly benefit our environment and communities.
Please send Governor Murphy a message today. Tell him to protect our environment and communities by vetoing A3267/S2600 in its current form so we can work toward a better solution to plastic pollution.
Waste and litter from single-use plastics and other disposable products are creating an environmental crisis. We dispose of 100 billion plastic bags every year in the U.S., over 4 billion of which are used and disposed of in New Jersey. These bags are a threat to our health and environment, harming marine life, clogging storm drains, and releasing toxins into our air and water when disposed of by incineration and landfill.
Paper bags take 10% more energy and 4 times more water to produce than plastic bags. Examples from towns and states across the country show that banning plastic bags and placing a fee on all other single-use bags is most effective for long lasting change.
On July 19th, the NJ Senate and Assembly environment committees are holding a joint meeting to focus on plastic pollution. Other bills have been proposed that take a stronger stance than A3267/S2600. We cannot let Governor Murphy sign this bill and set New Jersey back, especially when we have a real opportunity for an effective ban-fee hybrid bill.