Ban on plastic bags in New Jersey: These bags are great for small trash cans. What now?

When a group of Paterson High School alumni teamed up with Ramapo College in 2018 to study the use of packages – both plastic and reusable – in northern New Jersey, they probably had no idea the state would remain just four years from struggle. this question heads.

A strict ban in New Jersey on disposable plastic bags at most stores across the state will take effect next month. And some of the key points that prompted the ban were similar to what the students found in their study.

But here’s something most of us can probably relate to:

“Our students (also) interviewed people asking why they used plastic bags, and a very common answer was for garbage. People said they used them to line trash cans in small waste bins or kitchen bins (containers), ”said Sandra Suarez, a professor of biology at Ramapo College and director of the Upward Bound Math Science school program, to NJ Advance Media.

If the ban on bags begins, residents will no longer have the constant and free supply of bags that they used to fasten around the tanks in bedrooms, offices and bathrooms.

So what do you need to know about the ban on disposable plastic bags in New Jersey? And what tips should you consider when bags that are commonly used for small garbage containers go to the sidelines?

What you need to know about banning bags

New Jersey from May 4, 2022 will ban the distribution of disposable plastic bags and certain types of takeaway food containers.

If it comes into force, it will likely be the country’s strictest ban on plastic bags, as it also bans grocery stores of more than 2,500 square feet from selling or selling paper bags to customers at the front desk.

Can I still buy plastic garbage bags?

The New Jersey Department of the Environment reminds residents that regular garbage bags will not be removed from shelves after a bag ban is imposed. Pet garbage bags and Ziploc-style bags will also be available.

Only “disposable carrying bags are included in the law. Garbage bags can still be purchased in stores, ”the agency said.

Therefore, those plastic bags that are usually handed over in grocery stores or provided in grocery stores will not be available for home storage and reuse. And if all of New Jersey bans them, it won’t be as easy as going to another city to get free bags that can be hidden.

on the topic: The ban on plastic bags in New Jersey begins a month later. Stores will start reminding you soon.

What can be used instead of a plastic garbage bag?

When your supplies run out, you will need to find alternatives.

“Think about using paper, biodegradable, compost, vegetable bags or just a smaller number of bags using garbage cans,” Suarez said. “Garbage separation is very useful for keeping garbage cans clean.”

Suarez recommends putting recyclables in one container (“you don’t need a bag if you wash jars and bottles”), paper in another, and biodegradable waste in compost.

Want to take it a step further? Drop the compost pile into your yard along with the leaves and lawn trim and make your own rich soil for your garden, Suarez said.

“All these elections do not involve almost any additional work, only a change of habits. There is a lot of advice on the Internet, from killing urns with newspapers to using reusable bags and washing them when they get dirty, ”she added.

The New Jersey Business Action Center offers a list of vendors that sell an environmental bag. To view the list, click here and enter your name and email address.

While some people will only resort to purchasing small disposable plastic bags or regular garbage bags online, Suarez said she hopes the ban on bags will encourage a better approach to minimizing and disposing of waste in the future.

“With a bigger ban on bags, I think we’ll see more alternatives based on vegetables and other compost materials for trash,” she said.

The following bags are a good alternative:

As of May 4, 2022, grocery stores, catering establishments and other retail stores in New Jersey are prohibited from selling or selling disposable plastic bags to customers. What should buyers do who are used to reassigning packages to small trash cans at home?

What else can I do to prepare for the loss of these disposable plastic bags?

Remodeling the disposable plastic bags you get at the recycling bin store is a good practice and more environmentally friendly compared to not using these bags at all, says Carrie Sandal, an associate professor of biology at Ryder University. So you would do well to reuse any stocks of garbage bags you have left.

“Any way you reuse (these plastic bags) reduces the amount of plastic we produce,” she said.

But you don’t have to wait until May 4 to start your own ban on bags.

“When I’m (I’m shopping now), usually when they’re packing my purchase, I just take a plastic bag and try to use it for something else,” Sandal said, noting that DIY projects, dog waste and future grocery purchases are among options. “Sometimes when you say you don’t want it, (the clerk) just put it in their own trash can, so I take them” at this point.

Should you stock up on disposable plastic garbage bags in April?

No!

You may be tempted to take a few more (or a few dozen more) plastic bags in April in stores are operating before the ban, but experts and officials hope residents will instead accept the ban and reduce the amount of plastic they use.

For those who want to dispose of plastic bags that they have collected at home for years, the Wrapping Recycling Action Program, a national public information campaign, provides an online search tool to find a recycling container near you.

For more information on the ban, visit nj.com/plasticbagban. Still have questions about banning plastic bags in New Jersey? Ask them here.

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You can contact Stephen Rhodes at srodas@njadvancemedia.com.

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