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Comment: A New Tax for Plastic Supermarket Bags May Be in Your Future

A New Jersey Senate Committee voted this week to approve a new 5-cent fee for plastic supermarket bags which will go to 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 on Monday that 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? Comment below.

Adam Kraemer December 19, 2012 at 12:54 AM
This is regulatory over kill. I like plastic store plastic I use them as trash bags at home. Why not let each store decide what it wants to do with regards to paper an plastic and let merchants and consumers decide on paper and plastic. I don't see plastic bags as a huge harm to the earth.
badbul December 19, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I say go back to brown paper bags. For one, they hold way more then those cheap plastic bags that can only hold 2 or 3 items before ripping at the seam. Try packing a plastic bag and it for some reason it doesn't rip down the side, the bag will crash to the ground because the handle ripped.
Dan December 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Adam, are you an environmental scientist that has done extensive research on plastic bag use and its effects on our rivers, lakes, and streams? Do you know how many wash up on local beaches? How many are ingested by animals which ultimately lead to their death? Oh wait, you don't? Then I guess you not seeing them "as a huge harm to the earth" really doesn't mean a damn thing, does it?
Adam Kraemer December 20, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Dan: Everything impacts the environment. If I walk in the woods I press down on the dirt and cause erosion. Thus, should we ban walking in the woods? I don't see a huge gain for environment form this this law we have had plastic bags for decades and millions of animals are doing just fine. This law is just about a more intrusive government. If you don't like plastic bags don't use them.
M December 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM
how about picking up those tree branches as promised that are still lying around certain west orange streets??
Car14 December 21, 2012 at 04:03 AM
I think it's another way to tax tax tax tax and get more money out of us! ridiculous...what's next? Government overkill...again...
Dan December 21, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Adam: you cite that you know millions of animals are okay, but you know nothing about how many have been harmed by non-biodegradable pollution. Your "butterfly effect" argument is extremely weak in this instance. I mean, there's a good reason few votes went in your favor. A pseudo intellectual position on a subject will do that.
Adam Kraemer December 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Dan the last time I ran for Freeholder in Essex County I got about 18,000 votes or about 28% not bad running as a Republican in a county were the Democrats have an overwhelming majority: On point: Why not work on enforcing litter laws before we make a new law. Leave the supermarkets and consumers alone and don't burden them with new laws that will do nothing other than make some politician able to erroneously claim that he or she is a friend of the earth.
Jim February 01, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Adam, you are quite possibly the least intelligent person to ever comment on a thread.

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