New Jersey Bans Plastic Bags


By Jieun Paik, Staff Writer

Plastic bags: the very symbol for a demand in which everything is convenient and disposable. They line the registers of virtually every supermarket, another innocuous part of the single-use culture developed in order to uphold mass production and consumption.

The reality of plastic bags is what they do once they’ve been disposed of. Plastic products never really go away. They fill landfills and break down into smaller particles of plastic, which can be even more harmful to the environment.

Thanks to the conversation around removing plastic bags, a law was passed in September of 2020, which would slowly begin to phase New Jersey out of using plastic items. The law is to be put into effect on May 4, 2022.

“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,” Governor Murphy said about his opinion on the law.

The law would ban plastic bags being sold or offered, and businesses violating it would be fined as much as 5,000 dollars for the third violation. All Styrofoam containers would also be banned starting from that same day, with similar fines if the law is violated.

“I didn’t even know this was going on, but it’s a good idea to help the environment. And it’s definitely worth the small inconvenience of using another type of bag,” said sophomore Avery Vallarta.

“I think it’s a good idea that the law was passed. It doesn’t really affect me too much and I’m still going to be buying stuff no matter what, but it seems like a good deal,” said sophomore Damian Reyes.

No matter how little it seems to matter at this moment, there is a lot of hope placed in what the law might mean. Hopefully this will be the start to a more environmentally conscious change in people, and open up the conversation for change in legislature that actively seeks to minimize the amount of harm done to the planet.