Since New Jersey banned the use of plastic and paper bags in stores statewide back in May, many shoppers have bought reusable bags to bring in stores to help carry their purchases. Whether you’ve forgotten your reusable bag at home, or simply it never made its way out of your car, shoppers have been purchasing more reusable bags and they have since been piling up.
NJ Advance Media spoke with Garden State resident Katiuska Tejada-Rivera when she told the outlet that she has tried to organize her many reusable totes but they keep adding up. “I keep them in the basement,” Tejada-Rivera said. “I have another bag by the door in case I go out to the farmer’s market. Most of them are brand new, and even have the tag on them. I use them one time but don’t throw them out.”
Tejada-Rivera is not alone. The impact of these reusable bags has also taken a toll on online orders which lawmakers are targeting for the plastic bag ban rework.
“The only glitch so far that we’ve had (during the ban) is the fact that the home delivery of groceries has been interpreted to mean you have to do it in a reusable bag and what’s happening is the number of these bags are accumulating with customers,” state Sen. Bob Smith, D-Middlesex, co-sponsor of the bill to ban plastic bags, said. “We know it’s a problem. We agree it’s a problem.”
New Jersey leaders are now looking to tweak a ban on plastic bags after shoppers in the Garden State have started accumulating reusable bags.
Smith proposed several suggestions to help online orders such as “amending the law to allow grocery delivery services in New Jersey to use paper bags or cardboard boxes for online orders.”
An Instacart official said, “As the leading grocery delivery platform, we look forward to further discussing opportunities with legislators and other stakeholders on eco-friendly grocery shopping solutions, such as a sustainable alternative single-use bag.”
“We’ll listen to everybody and any solutions they have,” Senator Smith said per FOX 29.