NJ bag ban causing more plastic use

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,459
2,721
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
"Reusable bags are manufactured with 15 to 20 times the amount of plastic used in the now prohibited single-use plastic bag, notes the Freedonia report. The reusable bags that New Jersey residents now pay for at checkout or when their groceries are delivered, according to researchers, need to be used anywhere from 11-59 times in order to have a net benefit for the environment. The Freedonia study found most reusable bags are used an average of two to three times."

Guess I'm the exception? I bought three re-usable bags at the beginning of the ban and still use them. But this law is certainly inconvenient, and I don't understand why McDonalds gives me a paper bag with every take-out order but Wawa doesn't.

This is the "only in New Jersey" part. :D

"The Freedonia study found retailers are charging consumers 200% to 300% of the cost reusable bags, which is how businesses are profiting off the plastic and paper bag prohibition enacted in Trenton nearly four years ago."

"...the report estimates reusable bag fees now comprise 1-2% of total revenue for New Jersey retailers."


 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 66C10

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
564
359
Atco NJ
Most of those disposable bags were not one time use for me. I import the bags from family in pa now for doggie dookie duty. A lot of people I work with used them for lunch bags.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,102
4,202
Pines; Bamber area
I still use cloth bags I had in my car from 4 years ago. That article is bull. And if people are throwing them (bags supermarkets sell) away, or complaining about them, then go soak your heads, cause you are contributing to the problem.

And by the way, those bags they sell now don't end up blown into the trees or streets.

Most Americans are pampered babies.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Sue Gremlin

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,107
430
Little Egg Harbor
I've also had zero failures with the reusable bags I've purchased since the law was enacted, and every one of them is still in my possession. I've found that the negative statements I've heard from people I know about the bags could have been predicted in advance, knowing their politics. To them, anything of environmental benefit is lumped into the opposite political realm, and therefore opposed. It's an admittedly very convenient way of formulating one's stances, doing away with all that bothersome thinking.
 
Last edited:

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
564
359
Atco NJ
No complaints about the reusable bags (other than my wife has them in every vehicle we own now). I think the point was “53 million pounds worth of plastic shopping bags were used in New Jersey prior to implementation of the state’s bag ban, a figure that has risen to 151 million pounds since the prohibition was instituted.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: TacoTues and Boyd

JoeJones

New Member
Jan 9, 2024
8
11
Tucson, AZ
I've also had zero failures with the reusable bags I've purchased since the law was enacted, and every one of them is still in my possession. I've found that the negative statements I've heard from people I know about the bags could have been predicted in advance, knowing their politics. To them, anything of environmental benefit is lumped into the opposite political realm, and therefore opposed. It's an admittedly very convenient way of formulating one's stances, doing away with all that bothersome thinking.
It seems keeping the reusables for more than a few re-uses is the exception, not the rule. At least for now, people in NJ don't want to keep the reusables around. Plastic is a fact of life, and what is needed is a workable biodegradable alternative to a lot of plastic bags and packages.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,107
430
Little Egg Harbor
It seems keeping the reusables for more than a few re-uses is the exception, not the rule. At least for now, people in NJ don't want to keep the reusables around. Plastic is a fact of life, and what is needed is a workable biodegradable alternative to a lot of plastic bags and packages.
I'm curious how you arrived at that conclusion. One universal constant is that people dearly value their money, and the less they have, the more so. At supermarkets where you need to insert a quarter to release the shopping cart, you see very few loose carts in the lot. (I'll walk a hundred yards to grab one of those carts, making a quarter on the deal! :)). For the little that a quarter will buy you, people make the effort to retrieve it. The bags cost a deal more than a quarter. And for what I believe are the minority who do not reuse the bags, they are the problem, not the bags.
 

JoeJones

New Member
Jan 9, 2024
8
11
Tucson, AZ
My Father-in-law, long since gone, never threw anything away. He had paper bags stuffed with plastic bags. The guy was a keeper. He found a use for everything, including disposable plastic bags. If he were here today, he might laugh at the solutions our Government proposes, and tell you to save those bags. You never know when you might need a plastic bag.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John

JoeJones

New Member
Jan 9, 2024
8
11
Tucson, AZ
I'm curious how you arrived at that conclusion. One universal constant is that people dearly value their money, and the less they have, the more so. At supermarkets where you need to insert a quarter to release the shopping cart, you see very few loose carts in the lot. (I'll walk a hundred yards to grab one of those carts, making a quarter on the deal! :)). For the little that a quarter will buy you, people make the effort to retrieve it. The bags cost a deal more than a quarter. And for what I believe are the minority who do not reuse the bags, they are the problem, not the bags.
Thanks for the reply. I got that tidbit from the article some commenters were referencing. According to that article, people don't hold onto reusable bags too long. This is clearly a case where you have to either believe what you read or take it with a grain of salt. If you are a grain of salt type of person, the amount of extra plastic used in bags is a non-issue. Only if people are tossing these bags, and yeah, you gotta know that happens, is the extra plastic a problem. As for me, I have a trunk full of Trader Joe bags the will probably be thrown away when somebody buys my old junker and cleans out the trunk.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,107
430
Little Egg Harbor
My Father-in-law, long since gone, never threw anything away. He had paper bags stuffed with plastic bags. The guy was a keeper. He found a use for everything, including disposable plastic bags. If he were here today, he might laugh at the solutions our Government proposes, and tell you to save those bags. You never know when you might need a plastic bag.
He was like so many of his generation, who experienced more adversity than any of us ever will, and threw little away, either repairing or repurposing them. But in the here and now, it is easier to get people to reuse a more durable bag that they shelled out money for, than a flimsy one traditionally considered disposable.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,616
1,857
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
I have a box full of old plastic bags saved from back in the day which I use for litter box duty.

That being said, I purchased two big waxed canvas tote bags off Amazon and I can generally fit all of my shopping in them since they hold a LOT and are strong with nice thick leather handles. It's great not having to take a thousand trips upstairs and downstairs to get my shopping in from the car. These bags are much easier on my hands since a heavy plastic bag would just dig into my fingers. When I'm done putting groceries away I just throw them in the back of my car for the next time I go shopping.

The biggest problem I see with reusable bags, besides the people complaining about them incessantly, is that there isn't really a good way to give them back to the store when you don't need them. I'll occasionally order grocery delivery and they come in fabric bags which I don't have a need for. It'd be nice if I was able to drop them off at the store to be reused. But I think only Shop Rite has something like that now. So I do have a small pile of Stop & Shop delivery bags and I'd like to find them a new home.

This is the bag I purchased: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W9DTWHX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
Jul 12, 2006
1,311
302
Gloucester City, NJ
Like I said, I take issue with having to store, tote and carry my own bags into the store. Then, of course having to self checkout. Then, no one ever mentions, the fact that those purchased bags should probably be wiped out or washed (especially the meat bags) from time to time, all issues I've ever had to deal with when the store provided their "single-use" (yeah, right) plastics bags.
 

slingblade

Scout
Sep 15, 2016
52
62
MakePeace Lake NJ
Alongside the re-usable bags I keep in the trunk. There is a small box of 3.2 gallon Hefty bags for the potentially messy purchases. (If they're not going to give me plastic bags. I'll bring my own.)
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,616
1,857
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Like I said, I take issue with having to store, tote and carry my own bags into the store. Then, of course having to self checkout.
Is storing a few bags really that hard of an ask, though? I just seems like such a minor inconvenience.

I personally LOVE self checkout but everywhere I've been there have still been checkout lanes with cashiers.
 
Jul 12, 2006
1,311
302
Gloucester City, NJ
Is storing a few bags really that hard of an ask, though? I just seems like such a minor inconvenience.

I personally LOVE self checkout but everywhere I've been there have still been checkout lanes with cashiers.

For me, yes, it's a hassle. I too like self check-out, until such time that there were no limits on the amount of items that could be checked out.
 

JoeJones

New Member
Jan 9, 2024
8
11
Tucson, AZ
Is storing a few bags really that hard of an ask, though? I just seems like such a minor inconvenience.

I personally LOVE self checkout but everywhere I've been there have still been checkout lanes with cashiers.
I read a comment somewhere that stated people who use self check-out do not want to interact with a store clerk, for whatever reason. Personally, self check-out allows me to take a tally of what I am buying at my own pace, and besides, if you are buying alcohol, in Arizona that is, at Walmart or any can of spray paint, the self check-out machine calls a store employee to "assist" you with your purchase. I once had a kid ask me for ID, even though I am 70 years young. That kind of reminds me of a time back in the day when working a dead end job at Certainteed fiberglass, and a ball buster asked me to get some nonsense thing that, obviously didn't exist, and of course, being a newbie I asked a supervisor for this widget, only to be told to get back to work. Man, I wish I was twenty something again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ben Ruset and Boyd

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,459
2,721
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I once had a kid ask me for ID, even though I am 70 years young.

There's a popular chain of liquor stores here called Canal's. They have a strict policy of requiring ID, regardless of age. I don't know why, but at 74 that just bothers me. I complain, but it's not the clerks fault so not going to pick on them. They just shrug their shoulders and say it's their policy. Awhile ago I was picking up various household items at a CVS pharmacy in the Vineland area. They insisted on seeing my ID because I was buying a cigarette lighter. A *lighter* not a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer. Maybe it's a city law, have not seen that at other CVS stores.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoeJones
Top