Lawmakers just voted to ban plastic and paper bags in New Jersey

Single-use bags, paper and plastic, are on the verge of being banned again in New Jersey.

The State Senate voted Thursday 22-14 on a bill (S864) that would ban single-use bags and styrofoam or styrofoam take-out containers in the state of the garden.

It would take effect 18 months after receiving the governor’s signature and would only make the straws available on request after one year.

If the current bill becomes law, New Jersey would become the first state to ban plastic and paper bags.

But none of that happens unless the State Assembly passes its own version of the bill and the governor signs it.

Assembly Democrats spokesman Kevin McArdle said on Thursday that Assembly Speaker Craig coughlin, D-Middlesex, is “still in discussions with sponsors and stakeholders”.

Last month, Coughlin said the lower house of the Legislature was working on a version of the bill, but is still wondering whether the bans on paper and plastic should be staggered to take effect separately. He also said they had debated whether the 18-month adoption deadline was too short or too long.

“As we look at the best ways to defend the planet, I think reusable bags are definitely the way to go,” Coughlin said during a segment. “Talk to the speaker” on WCTC 1450-AM February 14th.

Lawyers have become frustrated with delays in passing the measure, which was passed by the Senate in the legislative session that ended in January but was blocked in the assembly.

“Every day of delay means more plastics are entering our environment and us. This is the most comprehensive plastic bill in the country because it bans paper bags as well as single-use plastic bags, ”Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said in a statement. “The Assembly must pass this bill quickly. , because the longer we delay, the worse our plastic problem gets.

More than 30 municipalities and two counties have already enacted bans on plastic bags, straws and styrofoam containers. Coughlin said on his radio show that these municipal bans, which are not the same, can create cross-border confusion for business owners and buyers.

“While I commend them for doing this and taking this step, the challenge with this is that they are not mirror images,” the speaker said.

Amanda Hoover can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj.

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Ethel J. Montes

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