Plastic Bag Ban Bill Passes Senate – Assembly Needs to Act
Today, the Senate passed S2776 (Smith/Greeinstein). The bill prohibits provision or sale of single-use plastic carryout bags, single-use paper carryout bags, and polystyrene foam food service products; limits provision of single-use plastic straws. It passed the Senate with a vote of 21-14.
“The Senate has just passed this comprehensive statewide ban on plastic bags, now the Assembly has to do their job. This is one of the most important bills on banning plastics in New Jersey. The amended version will have a 2-year phase out for plastic, paper, and polystyrene. This is the most comprehensive plastic bill in the nation because it bans paper bags as well as single-use plastic bags. This bill will also encourage more reusable bags because under the bill stores will give our free reusable bags for two months to help with the transition to no paper or plastic bags,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This is landmark legislation for New Jersey when it comes to plastics and dealing with plastic pollution and it is critical that our legislators push this bill through.”
The bill would prohibit the use of single-use plastic carryout bags and paper bags in stores and food service businesses, and would ban food service businesses from offering single-use plastic straws. It would also ban the sale of polystyrene and would prohibit food service businesses from selling or providing food packaged in polystyrene containers.
“The Assembly needs to act quickly because we cannot wait any longer. Our legislature needs to move quickly before our plastic waste problem gets worse. People are fed up with plastic pollution filling up their storm drains and threatening their drinking water. More than 40 towns have started taking action with local plastic bans, isn’t it time for New Jersey’s Legislature to stand up and be as bold as places like Jersey City and Sea Bright? We need this comprehensive statewide ban to more effectively combat our plastic pollution,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “The Assembly needs to post this bill and then move forward to put it on Governor Murphy’s desk to sign.”