By: Shaina Smookler
Plastic bags have recently been prohibited in New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy signed the law on November 4, 2020 agreeing to the ban and this took full effect on May 4, 2022. This put an end to plastic bags and paper bags being provided in any supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, and more. Some have strong opposition to these rules, while others agree. Either way, these laws have taken effect.
“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage, leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans,” proclaimed Governor Murphy (abc7ny.com). The stated intentions of the law are to benefit our planet by reducing plastic pollution and developing a stronger environment to last for generations to follow.
On the other hand, many consumers see this change as an inconvenience, disturbing the daily lives of grocery shoppers who forget a reusable bag. Picking up a simple item at the store suddenly turns into a stressful situation for some which leads to the opposing opinion based on customers’ convenience.
Jacqueline Manfro, a sophomore at JCHS, stated, “I think the plastic bag ban is going to make people unhappy and cause more difficulties, but it is benefiting the environment.” This shows the diversity of opinion on this law. Jacqueline views this as an effective way to keep the environment clean, but also recognizes the struggles that have come into action recently. Not only individuals, but stores too may face the consequences of this law. Forgetting a reusable grocery bag can limit how much one is purchasing, so stores may move less product, as consumers will be reliant on how much they can carry.
Overall, there are many different responses to this role of action, but the environment is the priority in this matter. Keeping reusable bags will become a habit sooner or later and the inconvenience will eventually pass. In the end, the law hopes to be recognized in years to come as a positive step toward a less polluted environment.