Law banning plastic and paper bags in New Jersey takes effect May 4

New Jersey residents will very quickly have to kick the habit of using disposable plastic bags and learn how to use reusable shopping bags. Indeed, the state will implement a ban on disposable bags starting Wednesday, May 4.

At Walmart along Route 66 in Neptune City, customers were still filling their cars with groceries stuffed into plastic bags.

While some keep the reusable bags it will take some getting used to, others have been using them for years.

“I’ve been using them for five years or more, so it’s not going to bother me,” says Valeri Ferris.

But others are not so happy.

“A lot of these plastic bags are going into the ocean. It’s not good,” says Wayne Ferris.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” says Teresa DiMartino of Tinton Falls. “You know, the prices have gone up so much and now they expect you to not only check, but take your stuff. It’s ridiculous.”

Some stores try to help their customers. Stop & Shop is offering free reusable bags from Monday. Target already distributes reusable bags. Anyone bringing their own bag will receive a 5 cents discount.

It’s not just grocery stores that are affected. The ban also includes restaurants, liquor stores and any retail store. But these companies can use paper bags.

Restaurants will also be prohibited from using polystyrene containers.

Companies that do not comply will be subject to fines.

Ethel J. Montes