New Jersey State Senator’s new legislation would spare at-home grocery shoppers from plastic bag ban
It is t-minus one month until the plastic and paper bag ban, signed into law in November of 2020 will take effect, and while there are two sides to the argument in favor or against, there is a New Jersey State Senator who says there are problems with this law that have yet to be solved for residents.
Some stores have begun handing out free reusable bags, a kind of bag everyone will need come May 4, 2022, and beyond.
Or, you can carry everything out of the store like a running back heading to the end zone -- in your arms, tucked tight so nothing falls.
While you mull over those options, New Jersey State Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) has penned legislation that will help people who usually have their groceries delivered to their homes.
Senator Corrado's bill would help with the costs associated with the delivery and single-use plastic bags.
“Shoppers are the ones who will be left holding the bag,” Corrado said in a written statement. “New Jerseyans who now rely on home delivery and curbside pickup for food have no idea how this will impact their food supply, or how much more it will cost them. The grocers don’t have uniform guidelines, the Democrat majority in Trenton who pushed this legislation through without any consideration to the impact on residents don’t have an answer, and people are running out of time."
To help solve the issue, at least temporarily, the Republican Senator's legislation would exempt online orders for home delivery or pickup from the plastic and paper bag ban.
“Since the pandemic forced residents to find new ways to get their groceries, people have become hooked on the convenience of placing online orders and having bags delivered to their homes,” Corrado said. “Now that’s in jeopardy as grocers across the state are scrambling to find solutions to the pending bag crisis. Clearly, this was never a consideration when the law was passed, and until we have a better way to make it work under the bag ban, it makes sense to pump the brakes a bit and allow deliveries to continue as usual.”
The plastic-paper bag ban that goes into effect on May 4 will be for everyone except for food banks and charities (like Fulfill) who will have an extra six months thanks to a law Governor Murphy signed in March, but when that time is up, they'll be under the ban as well.
“Food banks had no idea how they could comply with the ban, either,” Corrado said. “This is what happens when a feel-good initiative gets fast-tracked without any consideration for the fallout or the unforeseen consequences. My legislation would provide a similar stay for deliveries and pickups until workable alternatives are developed. Right now, my constituents are telling me they are worried that extra charges will be applied to their orders to compensate for the cost of reusable bags that they won’t be able to utilize. Given the impact of inflation on prices, their concern levels are elevated.”
If you have leftover food from a restaurant like these, you'll have to head home without a bag.